The Yankees were up 3-1 at the time, so Naylor’s blast to lead off the inning was good to trim New York’s lead to just one run.
Naylor, an effusive and emotional player, pretended to rock a baby while looking at the Guardians dugout as a celebration.
After the game, Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie explained the move, one that Naylor has done before to other pitchers.
“Nayls, when he hits homers off people, he calls them his son. Hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases,” McKenzie told Mandy Bell of MLB.com.
Triston McKenzie talked about Josh Naylor's rocking the baby celebration earlier this month: "Nayls, when he hits homers off people, he calls them his son. Hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases."
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) October 17, 2022
Cole told the media that he didn’t immediately see Naylor’s celebration, but someone told him.
Cole Said It Was ‘Cute’
The Yankees ace, who dominated for seven innings by allowing just two runs, made some comments about Naylor’s actions.
“Gerrit Cole said he didn’t see Josh Naylor’s celebration in the moment, but was later made aware of it. ‘Whatever. It was cute,’” he said.
Gerrit Cole said he didn’t see Josh Naylor’s celebration in the moment, but was later made aware of it.
“Whatever. It was cute.”
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) October 17, 2022
Short and concise: the Yankees star pitcher does not want to waste too many words on a home run celebration.
Manager Aaron Boone was of a similar mindset, telling media that the team didn’t want to spend too much time on that.
The Yankees (and the Guardians, too) have much more important things to do and plan before Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
They play a pivotal, winner-takes-all Game 5 tonight to decide the winner of the AL Division Series.
The winner will advance to the Championship Series to play against the Houston Astros.