On September 19, as the Yankees battled for a place for a wild card after the season ended, they lost to Cleveland 11–1, by seven points to their ace Gerrit Cole. While unloading Michael King entering the club after his last outing, he sees Cole sitting in Kyle Higashioka’s locker doing something that is in his good nature.
“He went into every box he just threw,” King told Cole, who shot 104 of them that day. He said, “Is it the wrong terrain?” ”
On Tuesday night, the post-season Yankees star turned to right-winger Cole, who he signed on to a nine-year, $324 million deal for moments like this before the 2020 season. It’s not just a win or a wildcard game in the Americas League, not just against their rivals. , Boston Red Sox. He’s at Fenway Park too.
The Yankees have plenty of reasons to relax: Cole, a four-time All-Star, averaging 3.23 on 181 passes, a 16-8 record and 243 strikeouts this season. And in 13 starts since his early career, he has 2.68 ERAs, including two wins for the Yankees in last year’s playoffs.
But what sets the 31-year-old Cole apart from other talented pitchers in baseball, his teammates say, is his attention to detail and loud baseball jokes. He inspires himself and those around him to be better. He not only gives advice to his team-mates, but also to the attackers in his team. He often stood beside manager Aaron Boone during games, wondering about his decisions. He likes to talk about baseball all the time.
“He lives, breathes, eats and sleeps,” said Higashioka. “He has several hobbies but the only thing he wants to talk about is baseball. Sometimes I like the game that night or whatever you think.” Will get every text.
Since the introduction of wildcard play in 2012, the Yankees have led 2-1 in the singles game format and won as a wildcard in a best-of-three series as part of the expanded pandemic playoffs last year. Keep going. Cole, who has dominated the regular season for years, lost the only wildcard game he started 4-0 to the Chicago Cubs in 2015 when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cole spat out the final month of the season – a 5.13 ERA in September – but is expected to carry a heavy load over the hill in October as the Yankees end their 11-season World Series drought. And off the hill – in the dugout or at the club, on the plane or at dinner – the Yankees continue to rely on Cole’s baseball brains.
“I love the game and I love my team-mates, so it’s nice to talk about the game,” Cole said recently. “Then I think there is an added value to being able to go back and forth with other craftsmen. Whether you’re sharing a few things about your personal business or you’re improving as a team, both help. ”
Throughout the season, Boone said that Cole would hang around his office from time to time or talk about himself, the team, the season and whatever. He says he likes it when Cole stands next to him in the dugout during games to talk to him or question him. He jokes that sometimes he just wants Cole to give him a little space.
“He is very, very caring and interested in all aspects of the game,” said Boone. “He’s completely invested in the days when he just doesn’t care. He’s just like that. He’s smart, he’s curious, he asks why he’s telling you what you think. He does some really interesting things to say: “I’m gone, uh. ”
Cole said he told Boone everything he knew or saw about the opponent. He said he could also ask Boone why he carried the mug in a certain position or not, or ask about his reasons for making certain decisions. “I certainly didn’t tell him what to do, but I did ask him questions,” he said.
Cole’s team-mates, striker and pitcher said he made frequent offers. Assistant Chad Green said Cole was very helpful in picking the tone. Jordan Montgomery, who has had his career best of the season with 3.83 ERA and 157⅓, says that if he does well, Cole will praise him: “But if you do badly, he will give up on you. It will help you find him. ”
A key multifunctional member of the Yankee team, King said that during a recent strategic meeting for the pitchers leading up to the series against the Toronto Blue Jays, he and his teammates were delighted that he felt that Cole had taken on the role of coach. He talks like Matt. There is something to be said for Blake and every enemy attacker. King says it’s all useful because it goes beyond video and analysis.
“He just wants everyone to be the best,” said Aaron Judge, whose single won the Yankees wildcard spot on Sunday.
Throughout the season, Higashioka said Cole would mention him if he saw a pattern in the way his opponent threw him. The judge said Cole would ask him sometime after discussing his thought process in comparing notes.
The judge said: “He sat on the bench and thought from both sides. For example: “If I make love now, how do I present this person? Or “If I were in a box, what would this person do?” always one step ahead.”
Higashioka said Cole was also holding him accountable. When Higashioka mentioned in the pre-match meeting that he wanted to attack the opponent’s bat but took a different path during the match, Higashioka said that Cole would follow up and asked why.
“He definitely challenged me to make sure I was always ready for the game’s decisions,” said Higashioka.
Blake, who coached the Yankees without a premier league coach last year, said Cole pushed him the same way. “Because he’s so talented he expects so much from you that you’re going to hold that person accountable, so he wants to be educated at a higher level,” Blake said.
Cole says he’s ready to speak up if he sees anything, as good teams before and experienced teammates like AJ Burnett and Ryan Vogelson behaved when Cole played Pittsburgh or Justin Verlander in Cole’s premiere in Houston. He started his career at
“This is the hallmark of a good team,” he said.
This season, Cole has encouraged his team-mates, especially the younger ones, to think with Boone and his coaching staff during the game. He said Vogelsong made him sit next to the coach in the dugout during the Pittsburgh Game because he did when Vogelsong was with the San Francisco Giants to learn from three-time Pittsburgh team winner Bruce Bocci, a strategy game.
During the Game, Nestor Cortes Senior said Cole would encourage such interaction between his team-mates by taking turns asking him what he thought he would throw up the hill.
“We walked back and forth in the break room, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ What do you get? What terrain is in front of us? What do you think he will do? said Cortes, whose 2.90 ERA was an unexpected boon to the Yankees rotation this season. “It was fun and good. I learned a lot because now I see a different perspective on a good mug.”
Even when the Yankees dine, the conversation often devolves into many aspects of baseball, on and off the field. Green said that Cole, who was a representative of the top players’ guild, was often the head of their chat because he knew a lot about the game.