Gerrit Cole made a half-hearted attempt to field the throw to the plate, then motioned for assistance by pointing to the home dugout with his index finger. Just in case his manager missed his first SOS, Cole looked down at the grass before returning to the dugout.
With a playoff berth on the line, you want your ace to do a lot of things in the final month of the season.
One of them is asking the trainer to come out in the fourth inning.
When Aaron Boone walked to the mound while a trainer jogged past him, the Yankee Stadium crowd gasped.
The 30,000-plus people in the audience held their breath as they spoke with Cole. With his glove over his face and surrounded by his infielders, the ace spoke, then reached over and handed the ball to Boone, who didn’t seem too keen on taking it.
They’d announce in the press box that their left hamstring was tight. Fans of the New York Yankees all over the world felt dizzy.
When Cole exited stage left, the Yankees were down 3-1 to Toronto, and they went quietly into the night from there, finishing in just under three hours — as if they had a late dinner reservation to make.
Boone mentioned that the Blue Jays’ pitchers didn’t face much opposition in the second half of the game, and it wouldn’t surprise him if he told his hitters about it later.
The final score of 5-1 was his team’s eighth loss in ten games. When things get this bad, calmer heads usually plead with those around them to keep their cool. Yankees fans, don’t listen to them. It’s high time to freak out.
Boone benched Joey Gallo and Gleyber Torres, but the offense still couldn’t get out of the abyss. So, what’s next?
Cole’s manager said he didn’t have an MRI scheduled for him and that his player was “pretty optimistic” about fighting through the kind of hamstring tightness he’d dealt with in the past to make his next start. Cole was more cautious in his postgame press conference, saying that he wanted to “reserve judgment” on the injury for a day or two and that he was “going to be smart about it.”
Cole puts a lot of strain on his left leg when he throws a fastball that approaches 100 mph, so who knows if he’ll be able to pitch Sunday against the Mets? Who knows if the Yankees will be able to recover from their recent losses and hold on to one of the two wild cards in the final 24 games.
Cole was a shell of his former self from the start Tuesday night, as Toronto’s explosive offense made him look mortal. Cole was called for a balk after Steven Matz outpitched him. Even though the Yankees were desperate for him to throw the ball like he did last week in Anaheim, he was due for an off night. This whole post-Labor Day experience was ruined by the injury.
The scary part was that Cole was performing at a championship level while far too many of his teammates were not. When it comes to his nine-year, $324 million contract, the ace has done a better job of keeping his end of the bargain than the Yankees have.