New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes entered Tuesday night’s game with a 1.94 ERA over 69.2 innings this season. He hosted 9.69 strikeouts per nine and a 0.78 home runs per nine rate. On top of that, his 86.8% left on base rate indicates that he gets out of trouble frequently without giving up any run support.
However, Cortes got a dose of reality on Tuesday.
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Good news and bad news as Yankees drop tough game against Tampa:
The Yankees’ top starting pitcher this season gave up a solo homer in the first inning to Isaac Paredes, who had three homers to help Tampa Bay push past the Bombers 5–4.
Paredes isn’t known for his home run production, entering the game with just five on the season before launching three, courtesy of Cortes and Clarke Schmidt.
The Yankees’ bullpen didn’t fare much better aside from Ron Marinaccio, who lasted 2.0 innings without giving up a hit. Marinaccio has been solid over the past few weeks, not giving up a single run since April 28 against the Baltimore Orioles. In fact, he’s only allowed one hit over 10 innings, showcasing quality stuff.
Offensively, the Yankees were quiet until the top of the 9th inning when reserve utilityman Marwin Gonzalez launched a two-run HR to left field, driving in Gleyber Torres. With Aaron Judge at the plate and looking to take advantage of a prime opportunity to tie the game, he fell just short, coming within inches of a solo blast.
Given how successful the Yankees have been this season, they are allowed to have a few poor performances. Cortes has earned a mulligan, as the Yankees still maintain their significant lead in the AL East by 11.5 games as of Tuesday night.
Cortes has mentioned in the past how his numbers are meaningless if the team is not winning, and he’s helped tremendously to fuel one of the best Yankee teams many have seen in their lifetime.
The Bombers will return on Wednesday with Jordan Montgomery on the mound looking to steal the final game of a three-game series. After Wednesday’s clash, the Yanks will head back to the Bronx, where they will take on the Houston Astros in a four-game series. They will enjoy a seven-game homestand to help temper their tough streak of away games.