After charging back into the playoff race thanks to some key trade deadline acquisitions, the New York Yankees have lost three-fifths of their rotation since Saturday’s victory.
Is that good?
Domingo German, after extending himself in a no-hit bid at Fenway Park (a loss, by the way!), suffered shoulder inflammation. Fine.
Then, in Monday’s postgame scrum, Aaron Boone was forced to announce that Tuesday’s starter Gerrit Cole had tested positive for COVID-19, igniting the team’s third outbreak of a nightmare season.
Surely, this one would be contained, though, right? There’s no way the very prepared Yankees are about to go through a season-defining stretch against mostly bad teams without their two best starters, yes?
Well … about that …
Jordan Montgomery has also tested positive. We’re doing this a third time.
Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery has tested positive for COVID.
Here’s the thing with COVID, too: it’s not an automatic box you check when a certain window of virality is up.
Hopefully, both these pitchers — and the myriad number of Yankees to test positive this season — do not suffer any long-term effects. Many of them were vaccinated, though every vaccination appears to be the less-effective Johnson & Johnson single shot.
There is a chance, though, that Cole and Montgomery are somewhat limited moving forward. It can’t be ruled out. It would be wonderful if both pitchers shook their diagnoses off and returned within a 10-day window to continue leading this team to the postseason. That cannot be guaranteed, however.
In the interim, Luis Gil will get Cole’s start on Tuesday, Nestor Cortes Jr. will reportedly get Domingo German’s slot later this week, and we have NO idea who will be replacing Montgomery because it certainly won’t be the regressing Deivi Garcia, per Brian Cashman.
Every season has its ups and downs, but it’s impossible to compare the misfortune the 2021 Yankees are experiencing with any other campaign.
An injury-plagued team playing amidst a vacillating pandemic was never a recipe for success, but … (sigh) again, most of the roster was vaccinated! The Bombers were a shining beacon for preparedness, passing the 85% threshold well before their rivals and encouraging mass vaccination and it just … hasn’t mattered. The less-vaccinated Red Sox haven’t faced a COVID outbreak all year, and the Yankees are now battling their third.
It’s the kind of thing that, well, makes you think the baseball Gods are not smiling upon you. It makes you question the universe’s motivations. It’s as simple as that.
Only two months left. Only two months more of this.