Yankees’ Gerrit Cole needs Kyle Higashioka as personal catcher in the playoffs | Opinion
NEW YORK — Doesn’t matter if it’s in Tampa Bay, Chicago, Oakland or Minnesota. Heck, who cares if it’s in the Bronx.
When Gerrit Cole stares toward home plate for the first time in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs, he better be looking at Kyle Higashioka, not Gary Sanchez.
If there was any doubt that Higashioka should be the Yankees' ace’s personal catcher for the rest of 2020 — and maybe beyond — it should have been napalmed with a 13-2 win over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
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Even Cole hinted at it jokingly, saying, “At this point, with the way he’s swinging, I may be his personal pitcher so that if he catches me, he can really rake.”
Forget that Higashioka crushed three homers in the victory. Actually, don’t forget that. It was one of the coolest things to happen this season for the Yankees. They have watched Higashioka rise from a seventh round pick out of high school in 2008 to a buried prospect to, finally, a full-time big-leaguer at the age of 30. That’s a baseball story anybody could love.
That tale should hit its peak when he catches Cole all the way to an eight-inning, one-run masterpiece to give the Yankees a 1-0 advantage in the postseason’s first round.
With Higashioka behind the plate Wednesday, the right-hander gave up just ...
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