“I Looked Like I Never Played Baseball”- Tampa Bay Rays Star Names New York Yankees Pitcher As ‘Nastiest’ He Has Ever Faced

Published 01/03/2022, 10:00 AM EST


The Tampa Bay Rays were one of the highest flying teams in 2021. They won the American League East Division, repeating the feat for the first time in franchise history. And some would say they were unfortunate to lose the division series to the Red Sox. Their record though will place them in good stead for 2022.

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Brett Phillips has been at the Rays since being traded in the 2020 season. He has been a big feature on both Division Title runs for the Florida franchise as well. The outfielder has been known to hit, and to hit hard ever since his he was drafted by the Astros in 2012. But which pitcher really unsettled Phillips?

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Brett Phillips Opens Up

In a recent fan interaction on Twitter, the Tampa Bay Ray , has opened up about whom he felt most uncomfortable facing. In a maybe not so surprising reveal, Phillips has called one of the MLB’s finest on the mound. Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.

Taking the encounters he had with Cole on the chin, Phillips said, “I looked like I never played baseball facing him”.

And Phillips may not have a case in this case for the best record at bats, his memory is doing him no disservice. Gerrit Cole did strike out the batter 5 times in 5 at bats in the 2021 season.

Brett Phillips and the Rays will definitely be looking at improving that record looking ahead at the 2022 season though if they want an improvement in their post season record. Having made a World Series appearance in 2020, the team roster doesn’t seem to be too far from it either.

The front office too has done exceedingly well, with manager Kevin Cash winning the AL Manager of the Year in 2020.

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Gerrit Cole – Custodian of the New York Yankees’ mound

There is no question that Gerrit Cole was the New York Yankees‘ best pitcher last season. In fact, he has been one of MLB’s best pitchers over the previous four years. He has had a ton of success in his two years with the Yankees.

Boasting a 23-11 record and a 3.11 ERA. He finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2021 and was an All-Star. But the Yankees will be asking for more from Cole come 2022.

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In the 2021 season, the Yankees underperformed. Surely, it cannot all be laid at Cole’s feet, but some of it certainly can. In the Wild Card Game against the Red Sox, Cole’s performance from the mound may have left some New York fans wanting.

He pitched two innings, allowing two home runs for a total of a three-run advantage for the Red Sox. The Yankees lost the game 6-2 and were knocked out of the post-season.

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Gerrit Cole has proven that he can be a dominant pitcher at times, but his performances in the post season have left the pinstripes asking for more. The post season takes more credence, especially for historic franchises like the Yankees.

The crunch situations matter. The post season matters. And Cole will definitely be making all the improvements he needs to make in 2022.

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Aditya Deshingkar

118 articles

Aditya Deshingkar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. An aspiring lawyer, Aditya is a final year student of the law program at GLC. Notably, as an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.

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