MLB

Cole surprised by Boone's early call to pull him in Yankees' loss to Astros

By Sports Desk October 22, 2022

Gerrit Cole was surprised by manager Aaron Boone's decision to pull him out of Game 3 in the sixth inning before the New York Yankees lost 5-0 to the Houston Astros to trail 3-0 in the best-of-seven ALCS.

The Astros maintained their unbeaten postseason record, moving within one victory of the World Series with Saturday's triumph at Yankee Stadium.

Cole, who has been outstanding all postseason and had seven strikeouts on Saturday, was abruptly retired from the game by Boone, who entered the field twice in the sixth inning, forcing the starting pitcher's removal under MLB rules.

The Yankees had held a mound visit after Cole walked Kyle Tucker, before Boone walked out again after Yuli Gurriel's subsequent single had put runners at every base.

Cole, who had given up a two-run homer to Chas McCormick in the second inning after a fielding error from Harrison Bader that should have closed that inning, had got the Yankees into the jam but did not look pleased with Boone's decision.

Reliever Lou Trivino could not rescue the situation either, giving up two hits and three runs in the inning with a Trey Mancini sacrifice fly followed by Christian Vazquez's two-run single which blew out the margin.

"I feel like as a pitcher like myself, I'm probably mostly surprised," Cole told reporters. "I always want to keep going. I was not ready to come out but to my knowledge, the second trip is what it is."

Boone admitted he felt Cole had pitched well when he moved to explain the early decision.

"Part of the deliberation was because I thought Gerrit threw the ball so well today, but I decided I wanted to go to Trivi," Boone said. "We were down a couple and can't really let any more. Just hoping for some weak contact or a ball on the ground."

The defeat leaves the Yankees staring down an ALCS sweep, with the Astros claiming their second shutout of the postseason, underlining their dominance.

The Yankees' offense struggled again, only managing one hit until two belated ninth-inning base hits from Matt Carpenter and Bader.

Across 27 innings in the ALCS, Boone's side have had 12 hits, four runs with only two earned and 41 strikeouts. Aaron Judge, who homered an AL record 62 times in the regular season, went none-for-four on Saturday.

"We need to get something from him, but that said, to win these games you need a little something from everyone," Boone said.

"They're really good. Obviously, it starts with their pitching. Their starters are able to run out there coupled with a couple of really good arms out of the bullpen. If you're not executing at a high level, these things can happen when you're up against a great pitching staff."

The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the only team in MLB history to come back and win a series from a 3-0 deficit.

Astros manager Dusty Baker added: "I don’t know if dominant is the word. All of them were close, except tonight… The Yankees are always dangerous, especially here in New York, so we've got an opportunity to close it out and win tomorrow, so we've got to take every opportunity to try and do that."

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