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


Nestor Cortes had an eerily similar start to the one on Opening Day but the Yankees lineup could not pick him up this time as New York fell 7-0 to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in Arizona.

The loss is the Yankees’ first of the young season as the team mustered just three hits against Zac Gallen and Arizona’s bullpen.

Here are the takeaways….

– Like on Opening Day, Cortes gave up three runs in the first inning. On Tuesday, those runs came on five hits. In the first inning through his first two starts, Cortes has given up a combined six runs on eight hits and two walks. The lefty would settle down once again after his rough start, getting in and out of trouble.

Cortes worked five-plus innings (88 pitches, 57 strikes), giving up three runs on eight hits, two walks and two strikeouts. The 29-year-old southpaw gave up fewer runs but gave up more hits in his second start of the season.

As Gerrit Cole said on the YES broadcast, he felt his teammate’s pitches had too much plate and the Diamondback hitters were simply all over them.

-The Yankees’ lineup faced a tough test in Gallen. The Cy Young-caliber righty at one point sat down eight Yankees in a row. Despite Gallen’s dominance, the Yankees had their chances early.

In the first inning, Gleyber Torres led off with a walk but was erased on a double play ball from Juan Soto. After an Aaron Judge walk, Anthony Rizzo grounded out. In the second, back-to-back two-out singles from Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera were wasted when Jose Trevino struck out swinging.

Gallen finished after six innings (96 pitches, 56 strikes) giving up just three hits, three walks and striking out six.

-The Yankees could have been in bigger trouble but Arizona ran themselves into some outs. In the first inning, a bunt from Jorge Barrosa was hit too hard to Rizzo who gunned down the runner at home. Trevino then threw to third to try and get the runner but a heads-up play from Cabrera got Barrosa out at first base when he tried to get back after a wide turn.

In the sixth, with one out and men on first and third, Jake McCarthy was picked off trying to steal second. Arizona would not push across a run.

-The Yankees bullpen has been amazing to start the season, but had one tough inning on Tuesday that broke the game wide open for Arizona.

In the seventh, Victor Gonzalez was the victim of a Cabrera error to start things off. He then walked Blaze Alexander, forcing Aaron Boone to make a change to Jake Cousins. Cousins, making his first appearance with the Yankees after being acquired from the White Sox, made one mistake to Christian Walker, who launched a 96 mph sinker up in the zone 424 feet over the left-field wall and put the Diamondbacks up 6-0.

Austin Wells didn’t start but came in as a pinch-hitter and wound up catching the eighth inning, which wasn’t his best behind the plate. Perhaps it’s because it was the first time he caught Cousins but Ketel Marte reached first after striking out swinging because a pitch got by the catcher.

Two batters later, Wells allowed a ball to get past him that allowed a run to score.

-Soto had a pedestrian night compared to his hot start to the season. The lefty went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. His single in the sixth inning extended his career-high mark of 39 straight games. It’s also the longest active streak in MLB.

Volpe and Cabrera continued their great starts at the plate. Volpe went 1-for-3 but struck out twice. The young shortstop’s average dipped to .529 this season. Cabrera finished 1-for-2 with a walk and is now hitting .409.

Game MVP: Zac Gallen

Gallen finished third in NL Cy Young voting last season and Tuesday was a great example of why.

While the righty doesn’t have overpowering stuff, his repertoire of pitches as well as how well he mixes them up kept the Yankees lineup off balance. Even when his control was iffy to start, he made the pitches to get out of tough situations.

He got Soto to ground into a double play and strikeout looking in this one. He also got Volpe and Judge to strike out looking. The Yankees had just one runner in scoring position against Gallen.

In two starts this season, Gallen has given up just one run in 11 innings (0.82 ERA) while giving up just six hits.

What’s Next

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

Carlos Rodon will take the mound, opposed by Merrill Kelly.



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