Nestor Cortes didn’t end up throwing a no-hitter – he came out after allowing the first Texas’ hit with one out in the eighth inning – but he offered up more proof that his fine season so far is no fluke, expertly knifing through the Rangers’ lineup with little difficulty on a pleasant afternoon in the Bronx.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning when Anthony Rizzo lofted an RBI double into the left-center gap. Aaron Judge, who had singled with one out, scored all the way from first base. It proved to be the winner in the Yankees’ 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Takeaways from the game
1. No no-no, but Nestor remains nasty: The Yankees’ best pitcher – yeah, we said it – threw 7.1 shutout innings, allowing only Eli White’s single to center. Cortes struck out 11 and walked four and was thoroughly in command all day, thanks to his artful cutter. Cortes, a 36th-round pick, threw 51 cutters and got 12 swings and misses with the pitch. In all, Cortes threw a season-high 103 pitches, 68 strikes. His previous high in pitches this season had been 91. He lowered his season ERA to 1.41 and got a nice standing ovation from fans, a few of whom chanted “Nasty Nest-or” at the lefty earlier in the game.
2. Just FYI: Corey Kluber threw the last no-hitter by a Yankee pitcher back on May 19, 2021, against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
3. What trouble? Cortes wriggled out of a small snare in the seventh inning. With one out, the Rangers had runners at first and second thanks to two walks, but Cortes fanned Andy Ibáñez and got Kole Calhoun on a ground out. That was the only inning the Rangers had more than one baserunner on against Cortes, who has fanned 42 batters in 32 innings this year.
4. Missed chance: The Yankees had a big opportunity in the fifth inning, but did not cash in. Joey Gallo started the frame with a single and, after an ill-fated sac attempt by Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jose Trevino singled to left off reliever Brock Burke and DJ LeMahieu walked, loading the bases. Before LeMahieu walked, he was furious at a strike call on a 1-0 pitch, which became a theme of sorts for the inning. The next hitter, Judge, took exception to a strike call on a low pitch and later whiffed on a 94 mile-per-hour fastball. Then Burke caught Rizzo looking at a 96 mph heater, ending the threat. The Yanks had only five hits all day.
5. What a relief: Clay Holmes finished off the Rangers in the eighth inning, getting the final two outs on a Marcus Semien 5-4-3 double play, and Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless ninth inning, though the Rangers got the tying run into scoring position with two out. Holmes (4-0) was the winning pitcher and Chapman got his seventh save.
6. Gray area: Rangers starter Jon Gray left the game with one out in the fourth inning because of left knee soreness, the team said. He will be further evaluated on Tuesday. He allowed no runs and two hits in 4.1 innings, striking out four and walking three.
Source: Yahoo Sports