New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was asked to go out in Game 4 against the Cleveland Guardians and save his team’s season. He tossed 110 pitches on just four days of rest, putting together yet another stellar playoff outing, giving his team a chance to survive one more day.
With the series all tied up at two wins apiece, the Yankees and Guardians will travel back to the Bronx for the final game of the ALDS. Whoever emerges victorious will push forward to the Houston Astros, who will be waiting patiently for Tuesday’s opener.
However, the Yankees likely won’t have Cole for Game 1, who completely dominated despite facing a bit of adversity during the game on Sunday. Over seven innings, he gave up six hits and two earned runs, striking out eight batters and giving up his obligatory home run.
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The Yankees got the best version of Gerrit Cole in a big moment:
Cole has given up a home run in 10 consecutive games, with the latest coming off the bat of Josh Naylor. Naylor was ecstatic about his moment, rubbing it in the face of Cole as he rounded the bases, pretending to cradle a bay, calling him his “son” the entire way.
“Nayls, when he hits homers off people, he calls them his son. Hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases.”Triston McKenzie told reporters after the game
Some may look at that as disrespectful. Naylor was clearly trying to get in the head of Cole, who proceeded to lock down and completely dominate Cleveland afterward. Naylor should’ve known that getting Cole angry usually doesn’t result in performing worse but rather elevating his game and using it as fuel.
“Yeah, whatever. It’s cute… I didn’t see it in the moment. It wouldn’t have bothered in the moment and it just is kind of funny.”
However, Cole indicated after the win that he didn’t even see what Naylor was doing but suggested it was funny in a perfect sequence of answers. It was clear that Josh was trying to get in his head, but Cole ignored the noise and mowed down several Guardian hitters before being taken out in the 8th inning for Clay Holmes.
Holmes tossed 17 pitches after receiving the night off on Saturday, in which manager Aaron Boone claimed he was only going to use him in an “emergency situation.” However, they needed him desperately on Sunday, and fellow bullpen arm Wandy Peralta looked stellar, closing the game in just seven pitches in the bottom of the 9th.
The Yankees will have a rather rested bullpen after giving most of them a day off. However, in a Do or Die scenario, expect them to rely heavily on some of their more are prominent arms.