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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole leaves Tuesday start with hamstring injury

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The most haunting headline imaginable to a Yankees fan.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Yankees hoped that their ace, Gerrit Cole, would snap their three-game losing streak on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. Instead, Cole’s evening ended abruptly when he walked off the mound alongside the team trainer in a 3-1 game in the fourth.

Cole didn’t have his A-stuff on Tuesday, and it showed, as the aggressive Blue Jays squared him up for three runs on five hits and two walks in just 3.2 innings of work. Two of those runs came in the fourth, and when catcher Reese McGuire lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Toronto’s third run, Cole signaled to the dugout. As Cole, Aaron Boone, the trainer, and the other Yankees gathered on the mound, he seemed to be looking toward his hand.

Cole departed immediately afterward.

For what it’s worth, former Yankee Phil Hughes suspected that blisters might be the culprit, given how Cole looked during his outing:

That’s what I’m going to assume at the moment, if not only because my mental state cannot deal with Cole being out for any stretch of time to deal with a more serious injury. Blisters can be annoying (ask Rich Hill), but if anything could throw the Yankees’ playoff hopes into the toilet, it would be losing their ace for awhile. Jordan Montgomery is reliable, Néstor Cortes Jr. is fun, and Jameson Taillon has had his moments, but there really is no replacing a pitcher like Cole for the stretch run.

Update:

It’s hamstring tightness for Cole, not blisters. Great. Super. Fantastic.

The next hope for the Yankees is just that it’s just mild tightness or a cramp, and that he might not have to miss more than a start. Either way, this is worse than blisters, so it’s extremely unfortunate — to say the least.

If anything, at least the Yankees have Luis Gil called up to join the rotation tomorrow, but while I enjoy the kid, he isn’t Cole. Worse? He won’t be rested enough for Cole’s next time through the rotation, so that start could very well go to, uh, Andrew Heaney. Gulp.

Update 2:

Well, that’s promising. Fingers crossed that Cole’s hamstring behaves properly over the next couple days.