Yankees aim to change narrative in doubleheader vs. Mets

MLB Baseball

A week ago, Gerrit Cole allowed three homers at Fenway Park.

Since Cole’s roughest outing of the season, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman described his team as being “as bad as you can be.” Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said the underachievement by the club was “aggravating and maddening.”

After the Yankees endured one of their roughest weeks in recent memory, Cole takes the mound Sunday against the visiting New York Mets for the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

The Yankees are 1-6 in their past seven games since their 8-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on June 24.

In that stretch, they got swept by the Boston Red Sox for the second time this season and allowed seven runs in the ninth inning in an 11-8 setback to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. The Yankees also held a players-only meeting while Cashman and Steinbrenner spoke at length about their thoughts regarding a team that is 41-40 at the halfway point of the season.

“It’s frustrating,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’re all (angry) about it obviously. We’ve set a much higher bar in there and to this point haven’t lived up to that. We’ve got to turn it around in a big-time way if we’re going to get to be the team we want to be. It’s certainly been frustrating to this point and I know guys are upset and not OK with it.”

The latest example of spotty play occurred in Saturday’s 8-3 loss. Aaron Judge ended a no-hit bid by Taijuan Walker with a solo homer and the Yankees got all three of their hits in the sixth inning.

The Mets enter the doubleheader with 11 losses in their past 18 games, however they are coming off one of their better showings at the plate. Brandon Nimmo returned from the injured list and produced three hits Saturday. Dominic Smith drove in three runs and also had three hits, including the Mets’ only extra-base hit.

The Mets scored their most runs since plating 14 at Baltimore on June 9. The big offensive showing occurred after they scored three runs or fewer in 11 of their previous 17 games.

“It’s fun,” Smith said. “It’s something we know what the offense is capable of.”

Cole (8-4, 2.66 ERA) recorded a 4.65 ERA in June and ended the month by getting tagged for six runs and eight hits in five innings against the Red Sox. He allowed a first-pitch homer to Enrique Hernandez and then was taken deep by sluggers Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez.

Cole is 2-2 with a 6.26 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. He is facing the club for the first time since allowing seven runs and eight hits over five innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 12-7 win on June 2, 2017.

Cole will be opposed by Marcus Stroman (6-6, 2.45), who was activated off the bereavement list Friday.

Stroman has pitched a combined four innings over his past two starts against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively.

He exited his June 22 start versus the Braves after throwing three pitches in the second inning due to a sore left hip. Last Sunday against the Phillies, Stroman allowed four runs on five hits in three innings.

Despite the two short starts, Stroman is 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA in his past six starts.

Stroman has plenty of experience facing the Yankees but is making his first Subway Series appearance. He is 6-6 with a 4.23 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees, has a 6.13 ERA in 10 starts in the Bronx and last faced the Yankees on July 14, 2019, shortly before the Toronto Blue Jays traded him to the Mets.

Nestor Cortes Jr. (0-0, 1.02) is expected to start the nightcap for the Yankees. He received a no-decision after tossing one scoreless inning of relief in his lone career appearance against the Mets.

The Mets did not announce a starter for the nightcap, but it is possible Corey Oswalt (1-0, 1.42 ERA) could get the nod. Oswalt has yet to face the Yankees in his career.

–Field Level Media

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