“Nestor Cortes and The Funky Bunch” Clip Jays. NY 4 Toronto 2

Nestor Cortes pitched 6 solid innings, and the Yankee bullpen of Ryan Weber, Albert Abreu, and Ron Marinaccio tamed the potent Blue Jays lineup to gain the 4-2 win and take the 4-game series, 3 games to 1.

Weber especially produced a near miracle, getting out of a bases loaded, nobody out situation in the 7th, allowing only 1 run to keep the Yankee lead at 3-2.

It was a night of redemption for many — all four pitchers were coming off multiple poor outings, and on the hitting side — Aaron Hicks had 3 hits, including a Clutch 2-out RBI single in the 7th that made it 3-1 NY at the time, plus a great play in left field in the 9th.

Anthony Volpe made up for recent errors on the field with a huge insurance homer in the 9th, and Aaron Judge got more revenge for the ‘eyes’ controversy by Blasting two more balls to dead center — one a 2-run homer in the 1st, and another bouncing off the top of the wall for a double in the 6th.

“I call that Nestor and the Funky Bunch tonite,” said manager Aaron Boone about Weber and the Yankee pitchers. “I was just hoping with his secondary and changing of speeds, be off the barrel — obviously a different look than Nestor’s 4-seam cutter; he’s coming in and moving the ball side-to-side. Just a really good job by him especially after the first 2 guys get on and now we’re in a bases loaded situation and up against it, and he didn’t break.”

NY improves to 26-20; Toronto falls to 25-19. Both are 6.5 behind Tampa, which lost, and 3.5 behind 2nd place Baltimore, which also lost.

1. Cortes Terrific

Nestor Cortes came in with a 3-2 5.53 record — having been hit in recent starts especially in the 5th inning and later. He was asked in the post game of the last start if it was due to the third time through the lineup — an insult.

So all eyes were on him against the vaunted Blue Jay lineup — and staked to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st off an Aaron Judge bomb — Nestor immediately got into trouble:

  • George Springer led off the game with an 8-pitch at bat before he fouled out, and then Cortes allowed a homer on the 2nd pitch to Dante Bichette to make it a 2-1 game.
  • Nestor then got outs — the last 2 guys in the 1st, and a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd.
  • In the 3rd a leadoff single, and then a 2-out single put 1st and 2nd — and fear rose again. But Nestor struck out Matt Chapman swinging to end the threat.
  • In the 4th, Daulton Varsho had the audacity to bunt for a single against Nestor, leading off. Nestor with cat-like defensive skills slipped on the mound and couldn’t get the bunt so Varsho was on. But Nestor then picked him off 1st. Like a cat.

  • Nestor pitched a 1-2-3 5th inning.
  • In the 6th, Nestor faced the top of the Blue Jay order for the 3rd time — and blew through it. He allowed a 1-out infield single to Bichette, but struck out Matt Chapman and Varsho to end the inning.

Nestor came out for the 7th, and threw a 4-pitch walk to Whit Merrifield and was lifted.

His final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 runs, 6 K’s — he wins to go 4-2 5.21.

2. More Judge BLASTS to Center

Meanwhile in the top of the 1st Gleyber Torres led off the game with a single against Jose Berrios, and Aaron Judge hit another ROCKET SHOT to centerfield for a 2-0 Yankee lead.

Judge hit ANOTHER ROCKET shot to centerfield leading off the 6th — it bounced off the top of the wall and was ruled a double. The umpires convened and then called it a homer — saying it bounced off the top of the wall, hit the cement behind the wall, and came back onto the field.

Judge was allowed to jog home for his 2nd homer of the night and a 3-1 Yankee lead.

The umps then had the replay team look at the play. And they ruled it a double, so Judge went back to 2nd.

But strikeout, flyout, strikeout — the Yankees couldn’t plate Judge.

3. Hicks Clutch Insurance RBI Single

Oswaldo Cabrera led off the 7th with a double in a 2-1 game. But 2 outs later he was still on 2nd when Aaron Hicks got a Clutch 2-out, RBI single on a 3-2 pitch for a 3-1 Yankee lead.

4. Webber Rope-a-Dopes 7th

After Cortes allowed the 4-pitch walk to start the 7th, manager Aaron Boone — his bullpen tired and stripped — was forced to bring in Ryan Webber — he of the delivery that makes him look like a position player when he pitches.

Weber immediately allowed a single to left by Danny Jansen. 1st and 2nd, nobody out.

Albert Abreu is warming up, and warming up in a hurry,” said Suzyn Waldman on the broadcast. “That pitch was right down the middle of the plate.”

Weber then walked Alejandro Kirk — bases loaded, nobody out. Yanks up 3-1.

  • George Bell hit a massive fly ball to right — just foul. Weber then got Bell on a shallow fly out to Hicks in left. No advance!
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.then hit a sac fly to center — 3-2 NY.
  • And George Springer Lined out to center on 1st pitch swinging.

Weber had gotten out of it with only 1 run!

5. Abreu a 1-2-3 8th Inning

And then in came Albert Abreu for the 8th. Having just survived a heart attack in the 7th, Yankee Twitter was not optimistic about the 8th. Abreu has been Ripped lately and coughed up a number of games.

But Abreu had one of the most impressive innings of his major league career — striking out Bichette, striking out Matt Chapman, and getting Varsho to pop up to LeMahieu at 3rd. A 1-2-3 inning!

6. Volpe Insurance Homer

In the top of the 9th, Anthony Volpe got redemption for recent errors in the field by ripping one down the left field line and just into the seats for a HUGE insurance run and 4-2 Yankee lead.

7. Marinaccio the Save

And then Ron Marinaccio — who has also been hit hard lately — made his way to the mound for the 9th — and pitched a 1-2-3 — ground out lineout, fly out for the old ballgame!

The Boxscore


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