Lennon: Yanks’ optimism washed away with double whammy

As bad as things have gotten this season for the Yankees, there always seems to be something worse.

Take Monday night, for example. After the Bronx debuts of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo were mostly ruined by fellow deadline acquisition Andrew Heaney making history as the only Yankee to give up four homers in his team debut, then came the hammer:

Aaron Boone’s announcement during the postgame Zoom session that Gerrit Cole had tested positive for COVID-19.

First off, Cole’s health is the primary concern, and the only details Boone provided was that he was told of the test results during the second inning of Monday’s 7-1 loss to the Orioles. Of course, Cole won’t be starting Tuesday, with Nestor Cortes Jr. now likely to take his spot.

Boone also didn’t say what Cole’s positive means for the rest of the Yankees, who now could be on the verge of their third outbreak this season and second in the past two weeks. The Yankees had six players in the COVID protocol sandwiched around the All-Star break, with Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka returning last week against the Rays.

“It’s been a tough year,” Gary Sanchez said through an interpreter. “With this news of Cole, it’s definitely a low blow there . . . Bottom line, if we have to get tested, we’ll get tested and keep battling.”

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