Gerrit Cole was available Wednesday night but he never got in.

The Houston Astros pitcher, who you could argue was their ace this season, was ready as a reliever for Game 7 of the World Series against the Washington Nationals. Cole was active often in the bullpen and appeared ready to enter as early as the fifth inning.

It wasn’t until the seventh that Houston manager A.J. Hinch pulled starter Zack Greinke, with the Astros ahead 2-1, but instead of putting in Cole, he went with Will Harris. He promptly gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to Howie Kendrick, and the Nationals went on to win 6-2 to claim their first ever World Series.

Even after Washington took the lead, Cole never made it into the game. Why?

“I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch explained after the game, via CBS Sports He was going to help us win. He was available, and I felt it was a game that he was going to come in had we tied it or taken the lead. He was going to close the game in the ninth after I brought (Roberto) Osuna in had we kept the lead.”

That will be a decision Hinch likely never will live down, and that’s probably fair.

Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images