NEW YORK — After a visit from an athletic trainer and manager Aaron Boone, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole abruptly exited Tuesday night's game with an apparent injury.
A few innings later, the Yankees revealed that Cole was taken out with left hamstring tightness.
Cole was pitching in his fourth inning of work against the Blue Jays. As Toronto pushed across their third run of the night—on the second sacrifice fly of the inning—Cole made a subtle motion to the first-base dugout.
Just seconds after the trainer and skipper reached the mound, speaking to Cole among a crowd of other players, Cole walked off the mound. Fans, unsure what happened, gave the ace a cautious and confused ovation.
Earlier in the game, Cole seemed like himself on the mound. He was pounding 100-mph fastballs, recording two strikeouts early on. That said, he also gave up those three runs, including a solo home run from Blue Jays designated hitter Alejandro Kirk in the second frame.
This is the first we've heard of Cole's hamstring acting up this year. The ace missed time last month on the COVID-19 injured list, but otherwise, he's been incredibly durable and consistent since signing with the Yankees prior to the 2020 season.
It's worth noting that Cole was making his 26th start of the season on Tuesday, more than double the amount of appearances he made during last year's pandemic-shortened campaign (12). Could the increase in innings be taking a toll on the workhorse's lower body?
Right-hander Albert Abreu was brought in from the bullpen to replace Cole initially, part of a unit that's been plagued by injuries lately. Not only is setup man Zack Britton out for the season, but Jonathan Loáisiga recently landed on the injured list with a shoulder strain.
It'll be all hands on deck to get New York through the rest of the game on Tuesday night, a must-win contest as the Bombers look to position themselves in the postseason race before the end of the regular season.
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