Guardians’ Josh Naylor says Gerrit Cole is his ‘little f—ing son’ after launching home run

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Cleveland Guardians designated hitter Josh Naylor got a hold of a fastball off New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, sending it over the right center field wall for a solo home run during Game 4 of the ALDS on Sunday night.

And boy, did he celebrate.

Naylor was animated as he trotted around the bases and was “rocking” an imaginary baby as he appeared to be yelling toward his dugout. But that was also in the direction of Cole.

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Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians runs the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians runs the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Naylor also seemed to be saying that Cole was his “little f—ing son” as he rounded the bases. He even yelled it into the camera once he touched home plate to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2.

Being that this is a game in which the Guardians could punch their ticket to the ALCS, emotions were running high all through Progressive Field, and Naylor clearly fed off it.

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This also is something that he’s known to do. Triston McKenzie told MLB.com that Naylor “calls them his son” when he hits home runs, “hence the rocking the ball as he runs around the bases.”

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians hits a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians hits a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Entering the game, Naylor was 1-for-9 off Cole with a homer that he hit in July of this season. Cole had four strikeouts of Naylor. 

In his next at-bat off Cole, Naylor grounded out to shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera.

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But could the Yankees use that celebration as some fuel in their elimination game? In the top of the sixth, Giancarlo Stanton’s sacrifice fly pushed their lead back to two runs as some hits found the bats of Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo. 

All we can say is tension is high and the fans in Cleveland and wherever else are on the edge of their seats, as home runs like Naylor’s can be defining at-bats in this ALDS. 

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians runs the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.

Josh Naylor of the Cleveland Guardians runs the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 16, 2022, in Cleveland.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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The Guardians took the pivotal Game 3 victory on Saturday night, a walk-off by Oscar Gonzalez with the bases loaded and down to the team’s last strike to win the game, 6-5. New York had a 5-3 lead heading into the inning.

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