The Yankees have had a ton of problems this year. They can't hit. They can't run the bases. They can't field. They've had injuries. Their pitching has been inconsistent. On top of all that, the Yankees now have to deal with another problem: their $324 million ace - Gerrit Cole. And to be quite frank, that's simply not fair.
Since the MLB announced in early June that they'd be cracking down on Spider Tack and other sticky substances, Cole has started 6 games and pitched to a 5.24 ERA. Less strikeouts. More walks. More home runs. Less length. Spin rate down. You name it. He's been worse.
At first, he avoided the narrative of "Cole was only good because of Spider Tack" with a few solid starts where even though he didn't look like his usual electric stuff, his numbers were still there. He pitched to a 2.57 ERA over 3 starts in mid-June. But in his last two starts, he's been fucking awful.
Trying to avoid a sweep in Fenway last Sunday, he gave up 4 runs in the first inning and 5 ER overall through 5.1 innings. Then on Sunday against the Mets in a critical game where they needed length out of him in a double header, he had his shortest start in 5 years, allowing 4 runs in 3.1 innings.
At first, it was hard to be mad at Cole. He was awesome last season, playoffs included, and was pitching to a 1.78 ERA through May this year. He had really been everything you can ask for out of a $324 ace. But it's now more than fair to be mad at him. He's had two straight starts in two very important games against two rivals where the Yankees really need to win, and he's thrown up stinkers in both of them. His worst two starts as a Yankee have come when they really needed him. And when you add in the Spider Tack, narrative it's completely fair to worry.
If Cole is going to resort back to his Pittsburgh days, the Yankees are fucked. He doesn't have to be 2019 Cole again, but he has to be better than what he's been doing. Someone on Twitter said that without Spider Tack, he Yankees paid $324 for a glorified Phil Hughes and that made me want to throw up in my mouth. No offense Phil Hughes.
It might be mental. It might be the Spider Tack. It might just be a rough patch. It might be a combination of everything, but he better fix it fast. And for the love of God, someone teach this guy how to talk to the media. He had the disaster Spider Tack press conference last month. And then after Sunday's start, he tried to basically say he hasn't been THAT bad and pointed how he retired 14 of 16 batters against the Red Sox after his terrible first inning.
Hey Gerrit Cole, we don't pay you $35 million a year to fucking settle in. We pay you to dominate. There's nothing Yankee fans hate more than a lack of accountability and that's what everyone on this team seems to have. Just go up there and say you sucked and have failed your team when they needed you most because that's the truth.
Despite all this anger, I do have faith Cole will turn it around. Not sure we'll see 2019/early 2021 Cole again, but I don't think he's a bust forever. Please God don't let him be a bust forever. Yankee fans don't deserve that. We deserve nothing but the best.
We talked about Cole's struggles, Chapman sucking, possible trade pieces and more on the latest Short Porch. One bright spot? The legend of Nestor Cortes. Cole or Chapman should give this man their All-Star spot.
You can listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts.