Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Yankees’ starting pitchers set unique MLB record despite missing ace Gerrit Cole

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The New York Yankees will enter the final days of May stationed in first place in the American League East. That is without receiving a start from ace Gerrit Cole, who is eyeing a June return after being sidelined since spring training because of elbow nerve inflammation and edema. Even with Cole parked, New York’s starting rotation has thus far been a strength of the club. These Yankees now have a share of an accomplishment to prove it, too. 

On Tuesday, lefty Nestor Cortes recorded New York’s 15th consecutive start of five-plus innings and two or fewer runs in a 4-3 loss against the Los Angeles Angels (box score). The Yankees had previously tied the longest streak in Major League Baseball since the mound was moved to its current distance back in 1893. Three other teams had recorded 14-game streaks: the 1907 Philadelphia Phillies, the 1968 Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 2022 New York Mets

Cortes, for his part, surrendered two runs on five hits and no walks over the course of 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out four batters. All five of the Yankees’ typical starters — Clarke Schmidt, Marcus Stroman, Luis Gil, Cortes, and Carlos Rodón — have an ERA+ of 122 or higher. Additionally, everyone but Stroman has a strikeout-to-walk ratio higher than 2.40.

It’s worth noting that such a streak does not inherently guarantee a team will do big things the rest of the way. The 1907 Phillies won 83 games and the 1968 Pirates finished below .500 (80-82). The 2022 Mets were, by far, the most successful of the bunch, winning 101 games before losing in the National League Wild Card Series against the Padres.

Nevertheless, the Yankees will take what their rotation has given them to date — and will hope that even better days await once Cole is back in the fold.

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