The New York Yankees let a winnable game slip through their hands on Wednesday, when they fell 6-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays and further complicated the AL Wild Card outlook. At the moment, before Thursdayâ€™s games, the Bombers are still in the first Wild Card spot with a 90-68 record, but four clubs remain separated by two games.
During last nightâ€™s start, the Yankees couldnâ€™t enjoy a quality outing from their ace, Gerrit Cole. Competing to give New York the best possible chance to win and, additionally, for the Cy Young award, the right-hander allowed nine hits and five earned runs in six innings, increasing his ERA to 3.23.
Per MLB.com, the pitcher said he didnâ€™t feel tired, stating that he has plenty left in the tank. In fact, he will likely be needed in a must-win scenario for his next outing: either the Wild Card game or the final day of the campaign.
The Yankeesâ€™ ace wasnâ€™t fooling anyone with the heater
It just wasnâ€™t his night. The Yankeesâ€™ ace faced perhaps the best offense in baseball and couldnâ€™t miss too many bats with his signature fastball. In fact, the pitch was getting hammered all night long and he allowed five extra base hits with it.
Two of those hits were home runs, by Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette.
â€œI think weâ€™re running into some really tough teams,â€ Cole said. â€œI just was not quite sharp enough today. Thatâ€™s just the bottom line. I think that I certainly showed the ability to make the pitches that we needed to over the course of the game; I just didnâ€™t make enough of them.â€
The Yankees now have a narrow one-game advantage over the Boston Red Sox, the owners of the second Wild Card. The Seattle Mariners and the Blue Jays lurk.
New York and Toronto will play the series finale tonight at Rogers Centre.
â€œPhysically, I think the velocity is in a good spot,â€ Cole said. â€œThings have rebounded well since a couple of those injury mishaps. Iâ€™m in a good enough spot to make enough good pitches. Iâ€™ve just got to make those pitches at the right times.â€
â€œThey definitely came out swinging aggressively at the heater,â€ catcher Kyle Higashioka said. â€œThe first two innings set the tone. After that, we reined it in, but by then, the main damage was pretty much done.â€