Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

Red Sox: Alex Verdugo calls out Gerrit Cole for whining about the strike zone

Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo called out New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole for his reaction to the strike zone.

The Boston Red Sox might not appear in this year’s playoffs but that doesn’t mean late September games against the New York Yankees are meaningless. The two clubs are battling this weekend and in Friday’s 5-4 win by New York, Yankees starter Gerrit Cole wasn’t happy with the strike zone.

In the top of the sixth, Cole believed he struck out Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo. He didn’t. On the very next pitch, Verdugo hit a three-run home run to tie the game. Cole struck out the next batter but continued to stew as he exited.

If there’s one rule every baseball fan knows about umpires, it’s that you don’t argue balls and strikes with them. Home plate umpire Brian Knight is aware of this as well. For arguing with the call, Cole and Yankees manager Aaron Boone were ejected.

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo called Gerrit Cole out after the game for his whining

The other half of this matchup that let to Cole’s ejection, Verdugo, had some words after the game to share what he saw from the batter’s box.

“It wasn’t even close. It wasn’t even close,” Verdugo said about the pitch. “He can complain all he wants but the goal of this game is to throw it over the white plate. You know what I mean? He wants to steal every pitch. And he wants his catcher to steal it. And he’s just mad that the outcome happened on our side today. But if you go and look at any of those pitches, whether you’re a pitcher, hitter, a scout, just a fan, clearly balls.”

Cole is gaining a reputation for himself as someone who won’t hesitate to make excuses. Earlier this season, he blamed Billy Crystal’s first pitch as to why he got off to such a poor start. In his latest appearances versus the Red Sox, he’s letting a single pitch get the best of him. Considering Verdugo was able to go yard against him, it should be something concerning for the Yankees in a big spot.

Verdugo went further into how he felt about the situation:

“It’s just frustration,” Verdugo said about Cole arguing after the inning. “You know what I mean? That’s just pure anger. Give up a game-tying homer, he’s definitely pissed off. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to throw a strike and those pitches were not strikes.”

Only a robot umpire might ultimately appease a pitcher like Cole in the future. Even then, we can certainly expect conspiracy theories from some players about the AI programmed into those machines and whether or not they’ve become self-aware.

Did Gerrit Cole actually strikeout Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo?

After watching it a couple of times, it’s clearly, far and down and away, a ball.

Despite making being able to leave the inning with a tie, Cole blew up against Knight as he exited. We learn on the little league field the importance of not arguing balls and strikes. In life, we learn not to point. Cole, in this case, broke both of those rules.

The rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees might not have too many implications in the standings. In this game, the Red Sox at least exposed a weakness of their biggest rival. Cole will need to learn to keep his cool.

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