If Gerrit Cole can repeat his last outing on Tuesday night against the Braves in Atlanta, Aaron Boone wouldn’t likely have a problem if his ace also voices displeasure about being lifted in the seventh inning.
Boone replaced Cole with lefty Zack Britton to face Tampa Bay’s left-handed hitting Austin Meadows last Wednesday with a runner on first, two outs and the score tied, 2-2.
“I was in good position to finish it,’’ said Cole, who allowed two runs, six hits, walked one, struck out 10 and was very animated in the dugout after being removed. “[Boone] made the move before he even got out there, so it didn’t really matter whatever I said to him on the mound. What I said in my glove I will leave it at that.’’
Britton retired Meadows, but gave up two runs in the eighth and suffered a left hamstring injury that landed him on the injured list — and the loss.
Boone will take a repeat of that outing against the NL East-leading Braves (16-12) when the Yankees (16-9) attempt to break a season-high three-game losing streak.
It will be their first game since last Thursday after the three-game Subway Series against the Mets at Citi Field scheduled for last weekend was postponed when two members of the Mets’ traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus. Monday was a scheduled off day.
“I thought Gerrit threw the ball incredibly well,’’ Boone said of Cole, whose 109 pitches were a season high. “I thought that was as dominant as we have seen him.’’
As for Cole being upset about leaving, that rolled off Boone’s shoulders.
“That’s the competitor in him,’’ Boone said. “He is an ace and he wants the ball.’’
In his first six starts as a Yankee Cole is 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA and is 20-0 since his last loss which was on May 22 of last year.
The Yankees have teamed up with Mayor Bill de Blasio for this week’s Get Tested Tuesday initiative, whereby the first 4,000 people who get tested Tuesday (Aug. 25) for COVID-19 at Health+Hospital sites at city public hospitals will receive Yankees gear.
Get tested, and score some free Yankees stuff.
“Here’s something really interesting. It’s going to be a curveball. If you know me and the sport I love — baseball — you’re going to see baseball and testing come together here because a team that sometimes I’ve had some differences with because I grew up rooting for another team,” de Blasio, a noted Boston Red Sox fan, said at a Monday press conference.
“Well, today I’m a Yankees fan because they’re doing something great to help us fight COVID-19 and I really want to thank the entire Yankees organization for stepping up.”
Boone was joined by players Masahiro Tanaka. Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit and Gio Urshela in a videotaped public service announcement imploring people to wash their hands, socially distance, wear masks and stay home if they are sick, ending with Urshela saying “together we can beat the virus.”
“A great message from the Yankees, I want to thank everyone from the Yankees who participated in that video,” de Blasio said. “I have a line here from me that’s one of the cheesiest lines I’ve heard in a long time. It says here, ‘Because of the coronavirus, we are all on the same team.’
“So whether you’re a Mets fan, a Yankees fan or a fan or another team, get out there and get tested on Get Tested Tuesday.”
The Yankees placed lefty starter James Paxton and shortstop Gleyber Torres on the 10-day injured list Monday backdated to Aug. 21. Lefty reliever Luis Avilan (shoulder inflammation) is also expected to join the IL.
Paxton left his start on Thursday and was diagnosed with a strained left flexor. Torres was removed from the same game and diagnosed with left hamstring and quadriceps strains.
Aaron Judge is expected to return from the IL for Tuesday night’s game. That will account for one roster spot. What the Yankees do to fill Paxton’s and Avilan’s spots will depend on what they believe is needed.
Not counting Avilan the Yankees had 14 pitchers on the roster Monday but only first baseman Mike Ford as a spare infielder since Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada will be playing shortstop and second base, respectively, with DJ LeMahieu and Torres on the shelf.
There has been some buzz around highly regarded pitching prospects Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt reaching the big leagues. They are at the alternate site in Scranton. Garcia is on the 40-man roster; Schmidt isn’t. Other pitchers on the 40-man roster are Albert Abreu, Luis Gil and Brooks Kriske.
Third baseman/left fielder Miguel Andujar could be recalled from the alternate site and the recently signed Jordy Mercer, a veteran shortstop, could be promoted from the site. One problem with that is Mercer isn’t on the 40-man roster.