Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitched a mostly sound game last night, but he wasn’t quite able to get it done. Superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. rained on his parade, going deep twice off Cole with another double later in the contest. Then, he took the Yankees’ best reliever Jonathan Loáisiga 447 feet into the upper deck for his third.
Cole was asked after the game about a gesture that looked a lot like a tip of the cap to the 23-year-old Toronto first baseman.
“I mean, did you see the night? If you had a cap, you’d tip it too,” Gerrit Cole said following the Yankees’ 6-4 loss at home.
Impressive indeed, but Gerrit Cole was inked to a 9-year, $324 million deal to make sure nights like this don’t happen. I’d say it’s fair to say Vladdy Jr. will get the best of some good arms around the American League. However, Cole’s not paid to be a good arm — he’s supposed to be generational.
"If you had a cap, you'd tip it too." – Gerrit Cole in awe of Vladdy's big night 🧢
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) April 14, 2022
Overall, Gerrit Cole found ways to navigate that illustrious Jays lineup, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing just four hits. All three runs he allowed came off the bat of Vladdy Jr.
No shame in giving up a run or two to the game’s most deadly right-handed slugger, but Cole seems to be starting a trend. Cole has struggled to best the best teams in the division for years, at least since Rays’ Ji-man Choi terrorized the $300 million man.
Again, understandable to have certain hitters you struggle getting out — however, pitchers who make $36 million a year must adjust to tough situations and win.
Cole has registered two no-decisions so far this season and has a 5.59 ERA. He’s been beaten up by the long ball, mostly because of his erratic fastball. Last night, he started off slowly, then found his command as the game went on.
As far as Vladdy Jr. is concerned, Cole probably should’ve steered clear of the kid and picked another battle. Attempting to beat Vladdy Jr. inside wasn’t working, regardless of how well the pitches were located.
This is hilarious. Gerrit Cole can’t get Vlad out & then tips his cap to him after he hits a double for his 3rd hit of the game 😂 pic.twitter.com/UPmdxV2KM7
— Adam Samuels (@SamuelAdams_12) April 14, 2022
Vladdy Jr 3 innings 2 home runs off Gerrit Cole pic.twitter.com/TQE7SCJBeQ
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) April 14, 2022
The conclusion here is that Gerrit Cole deserves more time, but he also has to come up on top in some of these situations. Allowing one player to beat you in a divisional game and yielding with a tip of the cap is pretty whack. It comes across as submissive.
Is Vladdy Jr. that far above arguably the second best pitcher in the sport? Maybe. But Cole needs to show more fight than this the next time these two squads face off.
The Jays meet the Yankees again tonight for the series finale at 7 ET. Luis Severino toes the rubber for the Yankees. It remains to be seen whether Gerrit Cole lets Vladdy roll up to Yankee Stadium in his car.