Yankees: 3 moments when Aaron Boone and NYY blew Wild Card Game

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Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

2. Gerrit Cole Breathing Life Into Crowd…Twice

Outsiders will laugh, but Gerrit Cole had a solid chance to earn his pinstripes on Tuesday night. He could end the Sticky Stuff jokes once and for all. He could pitch this disappointing Yankee team past their time-honored rival. He could gain the confidence he’d lacked since hurting his hamstring at the tail end of September.

Instead … he face-planted. With a personal catcher, to boot.

This game was lost with a 1-2 count in the first inning to Rafael Devers. Cole had two outs. Cole didn’t have a runner on base. Cole was cruising. Then he went up and in. The booth praised his aggression. Follow it with a change low and away, and you’d have your statement-making strikeout.

He missed with the change. Wasn’t close. He missed twice more. Devers walked, and on a 2-1 pitch to Xander Bogaerts in an at-bat where the plot had been firmly lost, the ace hung a changeup that any shortstop in the vaunted history of the Red Sox could’ve smacked out to dead center. Everett Scott, come on down!

In the third inning, Cole lost his bearings once again, giving up a Bo Bichette-esque home run on a high fastball to Kyle Schwarber. That was the moment for Boone to yank him. Get out. Get out early.

Instead, Kiké Hernández singled, Rafael Devers walked, and the out-of-control crowd reached a fever pitch they’d match for the remaining six innings. Boone’s pause didn’t come back to haunt him directly; Clay Holmes didn’t mess around. But that was the moment the crowd took over the narrative, all thanks to Boone and Cole’s tag-team display.