On Wednesday evening, New York Yankees‘ starting pitcher Nestor Cortes was, in essence, disadvantaged by the short porch of the stadium.
The game-altering home run by Adam Frazier, which changed the score from 5-1 to 5-4 still in the Yankees’ favor, could have only been a home run at Yankee Stadium due to its unique dimensions. The ball exited his bat at 96.5 mph with a launch angle of 35 degrees. This kind of scenario just unfolds at times.
The game was eventually won by the Baltimore Orioles, who managed to turn the score in their favor. Cortes had performed admirably for the first six innings, giving up only one run. However, he began the critical frame by allowing a walk to Anthony Santander and a single to Austin Hays. Frazier then entered the game, and the Yankees’ comfortable lead swiftly reduced to a single-run game.
The Yankees are trying to work Nestor Cortes out of his bad luck:
Throughout the current season, Cortes has faced significant difficulties when encountering batting lineups for a third time, indicated by his 5.30 ERA in 54.1 innings, a consequence primarily of this issue. He maintains a 2.35 ERA the first time through the batting order, a 1.57 ERA the second time, but an alarming 23.76 ERA for the third time.
Despite these struggles, the Yankees’ main left-handed pitcher maintains that he didn’t feel unusually exhausted or different during that seventh inning.
Asserting his state after the game, Cortes said, “I felt significantly better today than in recent times. Even in the seventh, I felt like the ball was still exiting my hand well. My strength was still up and my body felt fine. … The situation just got out of control unexpectedly.”
And it indeed spiraled out of control rapidly. The Yankees gave up eight runs in that seventh inning: three attributed to Cortes, four to Jimmy Cordero, and one (unearned) to Albert Abreu.
Despite this setback, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone appears unfazed.
Reviewing the game, Boone expressed, “I understand that things took a downward turn towards the end, but if you take a moment to evaluate how he performed overall, especially in comparison to his last game, there are positive signs there.”
It’s evident that Cortes needs to address the issue of facing batters for a third time in a game. A shift in his pitching strategy or perhaps an enhancement in his endurance might be necessary. The Yankees will need to solve this puzzle or consider pulling him out of the game earlier.