Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole left the mound with an apparent injury in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
In the fourth inning against Toronto, he signaled the athletic trainer and manager Aaron Boone to the mound. The 31-year-old appeared to be flexing his right hand a bit before exiting to the trainer’s room. The specifics of the issue remain unclear, though the Yankees later described the injury as left hamstring tightness.
Gerrit Cole left tonight’s game with left hamstring tightness.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 8, 2021
Cole left the game as the Yankees trailed the Blue Jays 3-1, allowing three earned runs — including a solo shot by Blue Jays designated hitter Alejandro Kirk — on five hits and two walks. He only managed to strike out two batters while delivering 46 of his 70 pitches (65.7 percent) for strikes. His fastball averaged 97.9 mph on the night, slightly above his seasonal average of 97.7 mph.
He was replaced by rookie reliever Albert Abreu, who got the Yankees out of the inning without further damage.
Although the ace missed time last month after ending up on the COVID-19 injured list, this is the first instance of an injury scare with Cole. Since signing with the Yankees prior to the 2020 season, Cole has been durable and consistent for the Yankees.
The Yankees simply can’t afford to lose Cole, who came into the game as an American League Cy Young Award candidate. He is 14-6 with a 2.78 ERA. The Yankees don’t currently have a clear No. 2 starter.