How the Yankees let Gerrit Cole & Co. off the hook

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Gerrit Cole was bruised but certainly not battered Tuesday night. In a game of missed chances for the New York Yankees, with their biggest strengths turning into so many Achilles' heels, Cole and the Houston Astros took a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series with a 4-1 victory in Game 3.

The Yankees' powerful offense went missing in action when it mattered most, and the bullpen failed to do what it has done all season: strand baserunners far from home nfl nike jersey

The Yankees might forever lament not delivering the knockout punch on a night when Cole did not have his elite stuff. Hitters could not capitalize on the many chances they had against the 2019 Cy Young candidate, who gave up more bases on balls (five walks) than hits (four) over seven innings pitched.4

"It's obviously a little frustrating we weren't able to break through, but I think up and down we gave ourselves a chance," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the loss. "Any time you're facing a guy like that, you want that kind of traffic, and we had that in several innings. He made big pitches when he had nfl jerseys china nike

"I think we ended up with probably about nine baserunners against him," Boone added. "You kind of sign up for that. We weren't able to break through. We weren't able to get that hit tonight to really allow us to be in that game or even grab a lead at some point."

The Yankees' offense failed to be efficient in its efforts, stranding those nine men on base and going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They put two runners or more on base in four of the first five innings, but Cole was able to wiggle out of trouble time after time.

"I feel like anytime you get a couple guys on base it just takes that one swing to get us rolling and kind of break through. But we just weren't able to get that big hit," said outfielder Aaron Judge, who went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. "[I] had the situation (in the second inning with two out) where I had two guys on and wasn't able to come through. This is the postseason. You got to be able to come through in those situations."

Thinking back on his opportunities, Judge shouldered his share of the blame. "Cole did this thing out there, especially to me," he said. "I don't think I got one pitch over the heart of the plate. When that happens, you kind of get frustrated and chase a little bit."

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