New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has responded to Josh Naylor’s ‘rocking the baby’ celebration during Game four of the American League Division Series.
In the post-match conference, Cole revealed his thoughts on Naylor’s move, saying:
“Yeah. Whatever. It’s cute. I just wasn’t aware of it. I didn’t see it in the moment and it wouldn’t have bothered me in the moment and is just kind of funny.”
Naylor was also spotted calling Cole his “little f***ing son.” Naylor entered hitting .267 (4-for-15) with two homers against Cole in his career. However, the all-important home run came in the fourth inning, cutting Cleveland’s deficit to just one run.
The 405-foot homer left Naylor’s bat at 110.3 mph, marking the 35th homer allowed by Cole this season and the third-hardest hit home run of Naylor’s career.
Guardians’ Triston McKenzie explained to MLB.com earlier this month explaining Naylor’s celebration. He said:
“Nayls, when he hits homers off people, he calls them his son. Hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases.”
However, the Yankees had the last laugh, winning the game 4-2 to force a Game 5 decider in New York, with Cole giving up just two runs in seven innings and just one run in 6 ¹/₃.
Gerrit Cole reacts to crucial Game 4 win over the Cleveland Guardians
Despite Gerrit Cole‘s disastrous record with respect to homers allowed, he stuck to his basics, continuing his form from Game 1. The 32-year-old struck out eight in a 110-pitch outing to keep the Guardians at bay. After the game, Cole reacted to his splendid performance which took them to the Bronx for the decider, saying:
“When they told me I was going Game 4, you know there’s an opportunity to clinch or go home. I didn’t approach the game any different. I just went out there and did my job.”
The winner of Game 5 in New York will meet the Astros in the AL Championship Series. In the history of the best-of-five postseason series, teams trailing 2-1 that won Game 4 to stay alive went on to also win Game 5 26 of 47 times, which is nearly 55% of the time.
Now, with everything on the line, Cole and the Yankees will look to end a thrilling series at home and move closer to another Championship Series appearance.