Yankees’ Nestor Cortes voices discontent after tough start Vs Rays

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees star pitcher Nestor Cortes got lit up by the Tampa Bay Rays in his latest start on Saturday, May 11, and sounded off on how he performed.

Per Gary Phillips of The New York Daily News, Cortes came down hard on himself for letting the game get away from him early and not maintaining his usual command on the mound (h/t ClutchPoints’ Scotty White):

“From my point of view, it looked like a couple of strikes could have been called,” Cortes said. “But I mean, I don’t think that determined the whole game of mine. I just gotta make better pitches and find that fastball a little earlier.”

Yankees: Nestor Cortes allowed the Rays to score too many runs inside of three innings

Cortes allowed a home run off of Yandy Diaz in the first inning. His woes were exacerbated in the third, as he conceded a three-run home run to Randy Arozarena that brought the score up to 4-2.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, nestor cortes
Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The 29-year-old was able to hold the Rays scoreless for the remainder of his six-inning outing, but strictly from a strike zone perspective, Cortes was not as sharp as he’d like to be.

Cortes’ dissatisfaction with his work in the strike zone was merited

Cortes topped out at 93.2 mph for the game, and 53 of his 89 pitches were strikeouts. Albeit, six of his first seven pitches were either a home run, ball or foul ball. Three of his four balls thrown were unquestionably out of the strike zone.

Strikingly, he only struck out two of the first 15 batters he faced. The other 13 all put pressure on Cortes by sending bombs into the stands, connecting on effective singles and doubles, or showing that they could zero in on his pitches by lining out and popping out.

The Yankees’ lefty now owns a 1-4 record with a spiked 4.02 ERA, though his 1.081 WHIP remains pristine. Cortes will likely get back on the mound after five days of rest. He’ll look to bounce back in the Yankees’ series against the Chicago White Sox, beginning on May 17 or as soon as May 16 against the Minnesota Twins.

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