ARLINGTON — Gerrit Cole rushed to Globe Life Field Tuesday afraid he had missed it.The Yankees ace was making his final start of the regular season in the nightcap of a split doubleheader, but like almost everyone else heading to the ballpark he didn’t want to miss Aaron Judge make history.“I actually arrived late to the first game today and I was panicked, for sure. I was like [Rangers starter Jon] Gray is gonna throw him a heater first pitch and like we’re in business,” Cole said, imagining missing Judge’s historic 62nd home run that would break the American League single-season record. “You know, [Rangers GM] Chris Young [had said] ‘we’re not gonna walk him,’ so, I was panicked.”Cole got there in time to see Judge hit No. 62 in the first inning of the nightcap and then went out and made some history of his own. Cole struck out nine to break the Yankees’ single-season strikeout record . Cole’s first inning strikeout of Nathaniel Lowe was his 249th of the season, surpassing the 248 that Ron Guidry racked up in 1978.Cole finished with nine punchouts on the night and 257 on the season.“It’s hard to put into words when you think about the Yankees, oftentimes you’re reminded of the legends that live in Monument Park and the accomplishments that they’ve had and the type of players that they were and what they did for our organization and even just to tie the record, let alone break it is a bit surreal,” Cole said. “Obviously on a night like tonight, it’s just kind of like a lot of history going on. And just a wonderful experience to share it with my teammates and with all the people that have also contributed in that locker room and whatnot, to this record as well.”The Yankees ace allowed three runs, two earned on six hits, including the two-run homer to Leody Taveras that gave the Rangers the 3-2 lead over six innings of work. The homer came after third baseman Josh Donaldson booted Sam Huff’s ground ball, allowing him to reach on an error. That has been a frequent theme with Cole this season, giving up a home run after a mistake or call that he feels has gone against him.Cole has allowed allowed 33 home runs this season, which is a career high.Cole’s next scheduled start will take place in the American League Division Series. The Yankees will play the AL Wild Card Series winner between the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians.He finished the season 13-8 on the year.
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