gerrit cole yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game 3 of the ALCS was a disaster for the Yankees. Coming back to the Stadium after losing both games in Houston, it was important to get back on track before things get out of hand even more.

The start of Saturday’s game was solid, as Gerrit Cole struck out the side in the first inning. But then there was a miscommunication in the outfield during the second, which led to a 335-foot home run from Chas McCormick.

Cole seemed to settle down after that until loading the bases in the fifth inning. Instead of letting the ace of his pitching staff try and work his way out of it, manager Aaron Boone opted for the bullpen. He brought in Lou Trivino, who let all three inherited runners score.

On an evening when the Yankees struck out another 11 times and mustered just three hits (there were getting one-hit until two outs in the ninth inning), this series of events all but put the game out of reach. If you were wondering what Michael Kay, Jack Curry, and the rest of the YES Network postgame show crew thought about Boone’s decision to pull New York’s $324 million man, it wasn’t flattering:

These are all terrific points, especially the ones made by Kay. As he said, Cole is the biggest reason why the Yankees even reached the ALCS in the first place. Without his Game 4 performance in Cleveland against the Guardians, the Yankees would already be on the golf course.

You can see Boone’s reasoning about wanting to prevent a big inning from happening. It certainly doesn’t seem like he trusts his ace to get out of a jam in a big spot like that, as Kay pointed out. And again, there were some weird choices made on which relievers to bring out of the ‘pen in the first place.

Now, the Yankees will have to become just the second team ever to mount a comeback after falling into a 3-0 series deficit to advance to the Fall Classic. New York fans know who the first one was, so we don’t have to go into those details right now.

But hey, at least the Bombers will have Nestor Cortes on the mound with their season on the line. He’ll be facing Lance McCullers Jr. as the Astros look for their second straight postseason sweep in 2022.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.