Gerrit Cole's Wednesday afternoon could not have started much worse.
The Seattle Mariners clobbered the New York Yankees ace for six runs during the opening inning. Carlos Santana, Eugenio Suarez, and Jarred Kelenic each took the All-Star deep to start Wednesday's matinee at Yankee Stadium.
As noted by Stathead's Katie Sharp, it was the worst inning of the righty's 10-year career.
However, it's not the worst outing of Cole's season. The Minnesota Twins tagged him for seven runs (five homers) in 2.1 innings on June 9. He's already served up 21 long balls in 2022.
Cole also lasted just two innings in last year's AL Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox. Although the 31-year-old remains one of baseball's premier pitchers, fans are questioning his ability to lead the Yankees to a championship.
Cole also began the 2022 season by surrendering three runs to Boston in the first inning. The afternoon opener started a few minutes later than scheduled because of prolonged pre-game festivities, which included a ceremonial first pitch from actor Billy Crystal.
Fans wondered if Cole would blame another hold-up for today's horrific start.
Cole bounced back from Wednesday's nightmarish first inning to throw five scoreless frames. Yet the damage was done, as Seattle still holds a 6-1 lead through six.
While Cole's 3.56 ERA is hardly bad, it'd also represent his highest mark in a single season since 2017.
Nursing a massive AL East advantage, the Yankees are counting on Cole to get back on track in time for the playoffs.