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Yankees 6, Cubs 3: A completely expected result

Gerrit Cole was fantastic and Drew Smyly... well, yuck.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Well, come now. You didn’t really think the Cubs could win this game, did you?

Gerrit Cole simply dominated the Cubs for seven innings and Drew Smyly was susceptible to the home-run ball — that, you could have predicted — and the Yankees evened up the three-game series in the Bronx with a 6-3 win over the Cubs.

Giancarlo Stanton began the Yankee scoring with a first-inning solo homer off Smyly. Stanton, as has been the case in so many seasons, has missed a lot of time with injuries. This was just his 40th game of the year and it was his first home run at Yankee Stadium since April.

Okay, that’s just one run. But what did I say in the game preview, about a particular Yankee and Smyly?

The only Yankee who has faced him more than a handful of times is Josh Donaldson, and Donaldson has crushed Smyly: 10-for-20 (.500), three doubles, three home runs, three walks.

This could have been predicted, then: Donaldson came to bat in the second inning and smashed his 10th home run of the year off Smyly. With the walk Donaldson drew in the third, he’s now 11-for-21 (.524) off Smyly with four home runs and four walks. Should have just walked him every time.

There might have been more runs in that inning, but Smyly played some nice defense [VIDEO].

So did Cody Bellinger [VIDEO].

Gotta find a way to keep that guy, I think.

The Cubs got on the board in the top of the third. Miles Mastrobuoni, just recalled, led off the inning with a double. Sorry, folks, this “rally” isn’t real exciting. A ground out by Mike Tauchman advanced Mastrobuoni to third, where he scored on... another ground out by Nico Hoerner [VIDEO].

The Yankees extended their lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and Harrison Bader doubled in a pair.

That was all for Smyly after four, and it wasn’t four good innings, either — six hits, four walks, four runs, 85 pitches, only 45 strikes. Just when Jameson Taillon seems like he might be back, Smyly’s taking Taillon’s place as the guy who can’t get outs. Over Smyly’s last eight starts: 6.75 ERA, 1.914 WHIP, nine home runs in 38⅔ innings. Yikes, that’s bad. At this point I think I’d slot Smyly as the fifth starter out of the break, which would give him 10 days’ rest. Maybe that would help him reset things.

Michael Rucker didn’t help matters any when he served up a two-run homer to Stanton, his second of the game. Originally ruled in play, it was reviewed by the crew chief. The ball hit the foul pole, as you can see here [VIDEO].

That made it 6-1 and pretty much ended things, though the Cubs did get on the board again. Former Yankee Tauchman, who hit seven Yankee Stadium homers back in 2019 as a member of the Bronx Bombers, homered with a runner on in the eighth [VIDEO].

But that was it, as the last five Cubs hitters were retired in order by Yankees reliever Michael King, who has a funky motion that makes it hard to pick up the ball.

Bellinger went 0-for-4, so his 13-game hitting streak came to an end.

And so, as I said, this didn’t figure to be a game the Cubs could win, and they did not. Let’s give Smyly one bit of recognition. This K of Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second inning was the 1,000th strikeout of Smyly’s career [VIDEO].

I’m mentioning this just for fun, but... maybe the Cubs really should wear the blue alternates more often:

Cubs record wearing the blue alternates: 9-7
Cubs record wearing the road grays: 10-18

Couldn’t hurt, right?

The Cubs still do have a chance to win this series with their hottest pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, on the mound Sunday afternoon (and they’ll be wearing the blue jerseys, since Hendricks almost always chooses those for his road starts). He’ll be opposed by Domingo Germán, who threw a perfect game last month but otherwise has been pretty ordinary. Game time Sunday is 12:35 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and MLB Network outside the Cubs and Yankees market territories).