gerrit cole yankees
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

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.”

Against the Phillies on Wednesday, he momentarily turned into Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson while helping Jose Trevino locate a foul pop-up:

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.

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You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.