Cortes Returns as a God; Saves Yanks. Reasons Why NY 7 Oakland 5 on 6-19-21

Nestor Cortes Jr. returned as a god to Yankee Stadium, rescuing New York from a 1st-and-3rd-nobody-out, down 4-1 scenario and shut down the A’s for 3 innings to allow the Yankee offense to conquer Oakland’s bullpen. The result was an incredible come-from-behind 7-5 New York victory on a beautiful, 80-degree Saturday afternoon at The Stadium.

NY is now 37-33; winners of 4 of 5.

Tampa lost again in the evening to fall out of 1st place — Boston takes over 1st and the Yanks are 5.5 behind them, and now 5 behind 2nd place Tampa.

1. German Didn’t Have It

Domingo German looked lights out from the start. He allowed a homer to Tony Kemp in the 1st, but then started striking everyone out. He struck out the last batter of the 1st inning, and got all 3 outs in the second on strikeouts. German allowed a homer to Matt Chapman in the 4th but otherwise was still motoring thru the Oakland lineup.

Until the 5th.

Leadoff single, single, walk, single made it 4-1 Oakland, 1st and 3rd, nobody out and German was gone.

2. Cortes Conquers the A’s (tecs)

Enter Nestor Cortes Jr. sporting a conquistador mustache.

When Hernan Cortes conquered the Astecs, it is written “An unnerving series of coincidences led Montezuma to believe that perhaps Cortés was the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, who had promised to return one day to reclaim his kingdom. Quetzalcoatl, “the feathered serpent,” stood for the solar light, the morning star. He symbolized knowledge, arts, and religion.”

Montezuma fucked up. Cortes had come to conquer Mexico, just like General Robert E Lee many years later.

(Although, as John Snyder pointed out, “Montezuma gets his revenge.”)

With 1st and 3rd nobody out, and the Yanks down 4-1 — the Yanks looked like they were about to be blown out.

But Cortes struck out pinch hitter Ramon Laureano, struck out All Star 3rd baseman Matt Chapman, and got catcher Sean Murphy on an easy fly out to get out of the jam. He then pitched a 1-2-3 sixth and got into some trouble in the seventh but got out of it, for 3 shutout innings.

Cortes saved the game.

It was Cortes’ 4th appearance with the Yanks this year — all in the last 2 weeks after being called up. He now has 12 innings pitched and a 1.46 ERA.

NY signed him this winter after he had done so well for them in 2019 (5-1 5.67) — ok he did great at times but then got bombed on occasion, prompting the Yanks to deal him at the end of 2019 to Seattle for ‘future considerations’. He went 0-1 15.26 in 7 innings in Seattle in 2020, making him available this winter.

3. Sanchez Homer Starts the Comeback

Cortes kept Oakland at bay, allowing the Yanks to right their ship. Oakland starter Chris Bassitt, the 6’5 righty who came in with a record of 7-2 3.34, was showing the Yanks why he was 7-2 until Gary Sanchez got to him in the 6th with a bomb to left off  for a 4-2 game.

4. Yanks with 2 Clutch, 2-Out Hits in 7th to Tie It

In the 7th, Oakland took out Bassitt at 90 pitches, and brought in reliever Burch Smith. Clint Frazier hit his second double of the game to lead off, but Brett Gardner popped out and DJ LeMahieu grounded out to put Frazier on 3rd with 2 out, Yanks down 4-2.

Aaron Judge got a Huge, 2-out clutch single for a 4-3 game.

Gary Sanchez, batting 3rd, got a huge walk to get Judge to 2nd. And then Giancarlo Stanton got a Huge, 2-out clutch single off Yusmeiro Petit for a 4-4 tie.

5. Urshela Game Winner

Leading off the 8th, Gio Urshela hit a homerun off Jesus Luzardo for a 5-4 Yankee lead.

6. Yankees Get Insurance Runs

Luzardo then walked Chris Gittens and Clint Frazier, and with Aroldis Chapman having been shaky lately, Yank fans were rooting for some insurance runs.

They got them — Gardner sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd, and DJ LeMahieu promptly singled them both home. Efficient, clutch, small-ball baseball by the Yanks.

7. Chapman Needed the Insurance

Chapman needed the insurance in the 9th. He wasn’t getting calls from the home plate ump, and with 2 out and a runner on, consecutive singles made it 7-5 and the tying run on base — the go-ahead run at the plate.

Aroldis Chapman faced Matt Chapman — and struck him out on 3 pitches — the final one a 103 MPH heater followed by an Aroldis stare — he was pissed at the lack of calls by the home plate ump.


The Yanks banged out 11 hits — Judge, Stanton, Urshela, and Frazier got 2 hits each. The Yankee On Base Percentage numbers, bottom to top, now looks like this:

Clint Frazier is right there, and rising.

Not listed is Miguel Andujar — batting .248 with a .270 OBP — but he is also climbing and his value is in his ability to slash hits — important in the playoffs when there are less walks as umps call everything close a strike to facilitate 2-hr games in October.

The Boxscore



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