Yankees Can’t Score, Nestor Cortes Struggles in 7-0 Loss to Diamondbacks

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Yankees offense, Nestor Cortes struggle in 7-0 loss to Diamondbacks

Nestor Cortes found himself in a strikingly familiar scenario akin to the season’s Opening Day, but this time, the Yankees’ batting lineup failed to rally behind him as New York succumbed 7-0 to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in Arizona.

This defeat marks the Yankees’ inaugural setback of the fledgling season, as they struggled to muster merely three hits against Zac Gallen and the formidable Arizona bullpen.

Here’s the breakdown:

Cortes mirrored his Opening Day performance by conceding three runs in the first inning. On this occasion, however, those runs manifested from five hits. Across his first two starts, Cortes has yielded a total of six runs on eight hits and two walks in the initial inning. Despite this rocky beginning, the southpaw managed to regain composure and navigate through subsequent innings.

Cortes put in a five-plus inning shift, throwing 88 pitches, with 57 of them finding the strike zone. He allowed three runs on eight hits, issued two walks, and recorded two strikeouts. Although he permitted fewer runs compared to his previous outing, Cortes surrendered more hits in this second start of the season.

Yankees Can't Score, Nestor Cortes Struggles in 7-0 Loss to Diamondbacks
Nestor Cortes (Credits: MLB)

As observed by Gerrit Cole on the YES broadcast, Cortes’ pitches seemed to find too much of the plate, making it easier for Diamondback hitters to capitalize on them.

The Yankees’ lineup encountered a formidable challenge in facing Gallen. The right-handed pitcher, often likened to Cy Young caliber, retired eight Yankees consecutively at one juncture. Despite Gallen’s dominance, the Yankees did have opportunities early on.

In the opening inning, Gleyber Torres drew a leadoff walk but was nullified by a double play initiated by Juan Soto’s ground ball. Following an Aaron Judge walk, Anthony Rizzo grounded out. In the second inning, consecutive two-out singles from Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera went unrewarded as Jose Trevino struck out swinging.

Gallen concluded his outing after six innings, hurling 96 pitches with 56 strikes, yielding only three hits, three walks, and tallying six strikeouts.

The Yankees narrowly averted more significant trouble as Arizona faltered on the basepaths. In the initial inning, a bunt from Jorge Barrosa was fielded sharply by Rizzo, who promptly gunned down the runner at home plate. Subsequently, Trevino’s throw to third base in an attempt to catch another runner led to Barrosa’s out at first base following an astute play by Cabrera.

In the sixth inning, with one out and men on first and third, Jake McCarthy’s attempt to steal second base resulted in being picked off. Consequently, Arizona failed to capitalize on the scoring opportunity.

The Yankees’ bullpen, though stellar thus far this season, endured a challenging inning on Tuesday that proved decisive in favor of Arizona.

Nestor Cortes
Nestor Cortes (Credits: New York Daily News)

In the seventh inning, Victor Gonzalez was marred by a Cabrera error early on, followed by a walk to Blaze Alexander, prompting Aaron Boone to summon Jake Cousins to the mound. Cousins, making his debut appearance with the Yankees after being acquired from the White Sox, made a single mistake to Christian Walker, who capitalized on a 96 mph sinker up in the zone, sending it 424 feet over the left-field wall, extending the Diamondbacks’ lead to 6-0.

Austin Wells entered the game as a pinch-hitter and eventually took over catching duties in the eighth inning, albeit not displaying his best performance behind the plate. Perhaps due to his first time catching Cousins, Ketel Marte reached first base after striking out swinging as a pitch eluded the catcher. Subsequently, Wells allowed another ball to pass, resulting in a run scoring.

– Soto’s performance on this occasion paled in comparison to his scorching start to the season. The left-handed batter went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. His single in the sixth inning extended his streak of consecutive games with a hit to 39, marking the longest active streak in MLB.

Volpe and Cabrera continued their impressive offensive displays. Volpe went 1-for-3 but struck out twice, with his batting average dropping to .529 for the season. Cabrera finished 1-for-2 with a walk, maintaining a .409 batting average.

Game MVP: Zac Gallen

Gallen, who clinched third place in NL Cy Young voting last season, demonstrated his prowess on Tuesday, showcasing a diverse repertoire of pitches and adeptly mixing them up to keep the Yankees’ lineup off balance. Despite an uncertain start regarding his control, Gallen adeptly maneuvered out of challenging situations, inducing groundouts and strikeouts against key Yankees batters. The Yankees managed just one runner in scoring position against Gallen.

In two starts this season, Gallen has conceded a mere one run across 11 innings (0.82 ERA), relinquishing just six hits.

What’s Next

The Yankees conclude their three-game series with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:40 p.m.

Carlos Rodon is slated to take the mound, opposed by Merrill Kelly.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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