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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole tests positive for COVID-19; Gio Urshela to IL with hamstring strain

What a one-two punch of brutal news after an ugly loss.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Remember the salad days of oh, 15 minutes ago? Sure, the Yankees played poorly in a 7-1 loss to the last-place Orioles, but the post-trade deadline vibes were still solid enough after a sweep of the Marlins. A cat even added some levity to the ugly game on Monday by running onto the field and juking the hell out of the Yankee Stadium security staff! Classic.

Well, if you didn’t care about that and were simply annoyed at the Yankees — an understandable take, to be sure — then the news only got worse from there. Not long after the score went final, manager Aaron Boone met with the media and delivered some shocking news: Gerrit Cole had tested positive for COVID-19. He is vaccinated, so this is another odd breakthrough positive.

Cole was supposed to start for the Yankees on Tuesday night against the Orioles. Now, Nestor Cortes Jr. will take his place, and Cole may be in for a visit to the COVID-IL. It’s a crushing blow for the Yankees to lose their ace right when they can’t afford to drop further out of the playoff hunt, and Andrew Heaney’s underwhelming Yankees debut on Monday did nothing to alleviate concerns about the starting rotation. Cole is now the seventh Yankees player to test positive for COVID during the 2021 season after the past two outbreaks (though Gleyber Torres’ May diagnosis was later revealed to be a false positive, he also had it in the offseason).

You said it, Gary.

But the news didn’t stop with Cole. Boone also told reporters that while no other Yankees had tested positive, third baseman Gio Urshela would be going to the IL with a hamstring strain. They don’t think it’s too serious, and they’ll be able to backdate the stint to his last game (pinch-hitting on July 31st), but we’ll probably have to see Tyler Wade at third base more than we’d like for the next week or so. The team has not announced any activations as of yet.

Still, if you’re looking for any further reaction to the continued series of unfortunate events that is the 2021 Yankees, might I point you in the direction of Pinstripe Alley’s pinned tweet: