Yankees ace Gerrit Cole has watched his 2023 campaign get off to a terrific start. However, his demeanor while pitching those gems is just as good — if not better.
Cole has begun his regular season with two starts at home in the Bronx. His Opening Day start included a franchise-record 11 strikeouts, and he followed it up with another strong performance on Wednesday. Through his first 12.1 innings, the right-hander has posted a 0.73 ERA and 0.89 WHIP with a 42.2% strikeout rate and 11.1% walk rate.
He’s already produced 0.7 fWAR. As a reminder, he finished with 3.3 fWAR after 200.2 innings in 2022.
But what’s been better so far this year: his on-field performance or the inadvertent soundbites we’re getting from him? That’s probably a toss-up.
Toward the end of his Opening Day outing, home plate umpire Laz Diaz missed a pitch that definitely looked like a strike. Cole’s reaction? “Jesus, Laz.”
Cole throws a clear strike thats called a ball and you can hear him go "JESUS LAZ" lmaooooo pic.twitter.com/J6UARt3LCq
— Gabe (@PlayoffTanaka_) March 30, 2023
Against the Phillies on Wednesday, he momentarily turned into Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson while helping Jose Trevino locate a foul pop-up:
Listen to Gerrit Cole help Jose Trevino track this foul pop up pic.twitter.com/1AwZXCylHM
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 5, 2023
Between these moments, his dominance on the hill, and his impeccable imitation of Nestor Cortes’ windup, it’s been one helluva start to the season for Mr. Cole.
The pressure will be on him to say something else funny around the fifth or sixth inning in his next outing. That seems to be the pattern, and he has to stick to it now. Hey, I don’t make the rules, folks.
ORE ON ESNY:
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• Bartolo Colon will be at Citi Field in 2023, but not to pitch for Mets
• Mets’ Kodai Senga has a ‘Ghost Fork’ glove, and it’s amazing
• Francisco Alvarez might be joining Mets in time for Friday’s home opener
• Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton can mash anywhere…even the Polo Grounds
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.