Connect with us


Pitching Duel in the Bronx: Manoah vs. Cole

Alek Manoah - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — A pitching duel better than advertised. One of those intriguing matchups, baseball fans circled on their calendar, the Toronto Blue Jays facing the New York Yankees with two bonafide aces on the mound – Alek Manoah vs. Gerrit Cole on Saturday afternoon at the Stadium. 

All together, the pair of aces combined for nine strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings, allowing the minimum – zero runs, six hits with three walks. Basically, a ‘pitching clinic’ in front of a Bronx crowd of 43,223. 

“It was old-school baseball, who’s going to blink first, and really neither one of them did,” Jays manager John Schneider said. “They made big pitches in big spots, and we just came up on the short end of it.” 

Cole, 32, entered the day with a 0.95 season ERA and lowered it to 0.79, following 5.2 innings of shutout ball (four strikeouts). He finished the afternoon with 96 pitches, 62 for strikes, and is currently ranked top five across MLB this season in ERA, strikeouts, and innings pitched. 

“Good fastball command,” Cole said on what was working for him. “A couple areas with a decent mix and just enough strikes.” 

He added: “Those guys (Blue Jays) are tough. They grind. They don’t give a pitch up. They’re shifty… They didn’t let me get deep, they were able to spoil good pitches.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 2021 AL Latino MVP, was 1-3 with a walk on Saturday – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

For Toronto, Manoah was nearly perfect, tossing seven innings while allowing only two-hits and a walk (five strikeouts). The 25-year-old, a finalist for the 2022 American League Latino MVP Starting Pitcher Award, ended his outing at 85 pitches, 57 for strikes. 

“Alek was on his game today, he threw tremendous,” Cole said about Manoah. 

Again, seven innings on a total of 85 pitches, a stat line you won’t see very often in 2023. Pitch counts are navigated in a different landscape compared to decades back and even from a few years ago. 

As a result, Manoah focused on executing in the zone, landing first pitch strikes, and forcing Yankees hitters to make contact. In six of his seven innings, he totaled 15 pitches or less. 

“He was filling up the zone,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said about Manoah. “I thought he did a good job of mixing. We saw a lot of changeups with some of our lefties, but I thought he was unpredictable.” 

“He was getting count leverage for the most part – he was in the strike zone with what seemed like pretty good stuff.” 

After the ‘pitching clinic’ concluded in the seventh, the offense for both teams was finally sparked. The Yankees 21-year-old rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe approached the plate in the eighth and hit his second career home run to give the Bronx Bombers a 2-0 lead. He received a curtain call from Pinstripe faithful, following his opposite field blast. 

“It was pretty crazy,” Volpe said about the curtain call. “I didn’t know what really was going on I guess. I didn’t want to assume to go out or anything like that… I didn’t even know where to go or what side of the dugout or anything like that.” 

Toronto returned the favor in the ninth with a clutch two-run home run off the bat of pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, his first HR of the 2023 season, tying the game at 2-2.

And then, it all came down to the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded for DJ LeMahieu, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter. 

LeMahieu smacked a 1-0 slider off Toronto’s closer Jordan Romano to score Isiah Kiner-Falefa, capping off a 3-2 walk off victory. 

Regardless of Saturday’s result at the Stadium, baseball fans went home with a victory as they witnessed a pitchers duel better than advertised and some… 

“All these games come down to the wire. It’s always a good game,” Manoah said. “Their young shortstop goes out there and hits a homer. Just when every Yankees fan thought the game was over, Jansen comes off the bench and hits a two-run homer. It’s just good, exciting baseball.”

“We’re excited to be able to compete against them and battle. Every game in the AL East is a battle.”

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email:

Follow us on Social Media for updates and exclusive content

Instagram: @latinosportsoficial

Facebook: Latino Sports

Twitter: @latinosports

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    April 23, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Great article and those video clips deffinitely will keep a reader involved in the article. Good move.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest Article

More in Baseball