Every time Gerrit Cole pitches, Yankee fans are excited about the prospects of what he will accomplish on the mound. I watch those starts carefully and study every pitch Cole throws, every discussion he has and every sign that he offers with his body language. Cole is an all-eyes-on-me kind of pitcher.
But, once Cole has thrown his last pitch of the game, I’m just as interested in what he will say about the way he just performed. Cole is a deep thinker who is also naturally curious so his post-game interviews are fraught with specifics about how he attacked hitters, how his pitches reacted and how he executed his game plan. Cole’s interviews are lessons on pitching.
Because Cole is so detail-oriented about the art of pitching, it was enjoyable for David Cone, another pitcher with a great mind, and I to interview Cole this week about his repertoire, his strategies and some of his mistakes. For the second straight spring, we connected and talked pitching, pitching, Cole’s family and then more pitching. The initial installment of our “Cole, Cone and Curry” interview will air on tonight’s pre-game show at 5:30 P.M. on the YES Network. We will air other parts of the interview in future pre-game shows.
In tonight’s interview, Cone asked Cole about the increased use of his changeup and also explained why he thinks that pitch can be so crucial for Cole. I was captivated as Cone, a former Cy Young Award winner who won 194 career games, and Cole, who has 103 wins and has finished in the top five for the Cy Young four times, exchanged their thoughts about the pitch. Cole gave a fascinating description about an at bat in which the changeup failed to get the desired result, but, in his mind, was still the right pitch.
If you’re a pitching nerd (like Cole and Cone), if you’re a rabid baseball fan or if you just revel in listening to someone speak so passionately about his craft, tune in to YES tonight to hear from Cole. When the three of us spoke about pitching for the first time 13 months ago in Tampa, my hope was to make this an annual interview. So far, we’re two for two. And here’s a spoiler alert: both Cole and Cone have said they’re in for another pitching-rich chat next spring.