Bronx, NY: Holy crap, did the Rangers pick a bad night to go full Amber Heard on the bed. I can’t even talk about it, it’s too painful. What else is going on? Nasty Nestor almost threw a no hitter yesterday. This guy is on his third stint with the Yankees and has clawed his way back, from nearly being out of baseball to a stalwart in the rotation.
Coming in to the season, the Yankees’ starting rotation had more questions than answers. Was Cole already starting to decline? Would Severino be able to return the rotation, after his injury and pitching out of the pen? What would they get from Taillon and Montgomery?
Cortes was an afterthought. A nice little lefty who could eat some innings, spot start or pitch out of the rotation. But Nestor had other ideas. The man spent the lockout busting out killer Instagram workouts, and transforming his physique from gordo a muy suave.
Cortes was a 36th round draft pick by the Yankees in 2013. That’s not exactly Piazza territory, but it’s a long way from the top prospects. After a few years in the minors, he was plucked away in the Rule 5 draft by the Orioles. He made the team, but they cut him after a disastrous outing. The Yankees brought him back for another shot. He had a cup of coffee in the bigs and got his first win, but pitched poorly and was traded to the Mariners for international bonus pool money. The rumor that the Yankees threw in a bag of baseballs is unconfirmed. He only pitched a few times with the Mariners and then was outrighted again.
The Yankees brought him back for round three ahead of last season. He worked his way to the big club and pitched 93 innings with a 2.90 ERA. This year he is fifth in MLB with a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings, the best ERA of pitchers with at least five starts. Nestor has gone from an afterthought to a key cog in the Yankees’ postseason dreams.
As Short Matt pointed out, in another on of his tired “Stanks” rants, yawn, the bats didn’t exactly light it up against Texas. But, they still won two of three and nearly swept, if not for the first bad outing of the season by Michael King on a brisk Bronx Sunday.
On Monday afternoon, Cortes took a no-hitter into the 8th. To his credit, Aaron Boone said he was going to let him go for the no-hitter. But it wasn’t to be, and they pulled him after a soft single to center. He didn’t even get the win, because they Yanks hadn’t scored yet either. They managed to scrape one across and take the series, thanks to Nestor’s stellar outing.
“I’ve been playing baseball since I was four. “I feel like that’s the only thing I know how to do. Coming out of high school, I don’t have anything to fall back on so I’m just going to ride this as long as I could.”
Don’t give up on your dreams, kids. Ride it out.
That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.