While Red Sox Twitter (and, fine, the rest of MLB Twitter as well) delights in making memes out of Rafael Devers‘ fatherhood whenever Yankees ace Gerrit Cole comes to play, the relationship between the two men seems far less contentious.
After Thursday’s showdown at Fenway Park, won 6-5 after the Yankees bullpen held on in the wake of not one, but two Devers shots against the right-hander, Cole seemed baffled by the slugger’s success against him, and took a lighthearted approach in the postgame scrum.
In more dire straits — and after a loss rather than a victory — Cole’s cutesy, “Anybody got any ideas?” quip might not have gone over so well. In this instance, though, the press corps was able to yuk it up, Cole was able to blow off some steam, and Jack Curry was able to dust off an apt comparison to a similar David Cone quote from the Yankees’ 2000 season.
Again, the only difference there was Cone was genuinely left in the lurch, toiling to a 6.00+ ERA in his final season in the Bronx. Cole evoking that low moment, even accidentally, made Yankee fans of a certain age feel worse than they already did about his chances at Fenway.
Don’t call it “ownership” or “paternity” if you’re talking to Devers, though. The Red Sox slugger makes it look effortless on the field, but he doesn’t seem to want a reputation as a Stone Cole Killer, especially considering these rivals have to face off 12 more times in 2022.
Speaking to Spanish-language outlet ZDeportes, Devers diminished his success against Cole. Rather, the All-Star said, he’s had some good luck.
Yankees’ Gerrit Cole gets kudos from Red Sox Rafael Devers
What a kind soul, who’s absolutely going to continue mashing Cole whether he’s humble about it or not.
The one thing Cole has on his rival, at the moment, is that he only drills homers off him. No measly singles, doubles, or triples for this infuriatingly good Red Sox! In 23 career at-bats against Cole, Devers has seven hits, but six of those have left the yard. Focus on the good times! Focus on the eight strikeouts, not the 1.087 SLG. My word.
The next time these two men do battle will be Sunday in the Bronx (as long as Devers’ back doesn’t flare up in between). Cole is coming off possibly his best start of the season, a throwback game to his Astros days in which he touched 101 on his final pitch and breezed through the Reds with relative ease (in, uh, a game the Yankees ultimately lost).
Will Devers’ luck continue when he’s confronted with the short porch? Yeah. Dammit. Probably.
It’s skill. It’s not luck. It’s skill. Cole just has to hope his home fans can save him.