DENVER — Two days after his epic performance, Gerrit Cole appeared structurally intact.
“I feel pretty good,” the Yankees’ ace said Monday, during the All-Star Game’s media day. “But I think everybody’s a little more comfortable if we just waited until the weekend to fire the engine back up.”
Cole’s 129-pitch, complete-game effort against his old team the Astros Saturday night, to nail down a 1-0 Yankees victory at Minute Maid Park, ensured that Cole wouldn’t pitch in Tuesday night’s Midsummer Classic despite getting elected by his fellow players to do just that. While the rules call for pitchers who throw Sunday to receive an exemption, and not Saturday, there appeared to be little pushback in light of the positive headlines Cole’s effort generated.
Of course, Cole could have chosen to blow off the festivities altogether like his Mets counterpart Jacob deGrom did. Instead, he traveled from Houston to Denver, and will watch the game with his AL teammates
“It’s always fun to come. Good to celebrate everyone else’s accomplishments in the room,” Cole said. “… It’s part of our responsibility to come and get your questions and perform if you’re able to and represent the brand of the game, the brand of the industry.”
Dethroned Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who made the team by virtue of a player vote that occurred while he was dominating — and whose recent meltdown compelled Cole to go the distance Saturday night — blew off his media-day responsibilities.