The Yankees paid Gerrit Cole $324 million to bring them a World Series title.
On Tuesday, he certainly showed why he deserved that.
Cole dominated the Cleveland Indians over seven innings, striking out 13 batters and walking none while allowing just two earned runs.
It was the second-most strikeouts he has had in his postseason career, but it also put him in a class of his own.
Cole’s performance made him the first pitcher in postseason history with three career 12-strikeout games, the first pitcher with multiple postseason starts of 12 strikeouts and no walks and the first American League pitcher with 13 strikeouts and no walks in a postseason start.
It was also the second-most strikeouts by a Yankees pitcher in postseason history, trailing just Roger Clemens’ 15-strikeout game in the 2000 ALCS against the Seattle Mariners.
On the flip side, Indians ace Shane Bieber – the likely AL Cy Young award winner – totally flopped in his postseason debut, allowing seven runs in 4.2 innings.
The Yankees now just need to win one of the next two games to advance to the ALDS.