Groin injury forces Nestor Cortes to quit ALCS Game 4

Nestor Cortes leaving ALCS Game 4 due to a groin injury
AP Photo/John Minchillo
Sara Molnick
Monday October 24, 2022

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NEW YORK – A left groin injury made Nestor Cortes leave the American League Championship Series Game 4 in the third inning. The New York Yankees lost 6-5 to the Houston Astros.

Nestor Cortes battled with his command on a windy and cold Sunday night, with the game beginning after an hour-and-a-half rain delay. He took six of the first ten hitters he faced to a three-ball count.

The pitcher seemed to stumble on the mound against Jose Altuve in the third inning, but he flashed the Yankees‘ dugout a thumbs up before manager Aaron Boone and head athletic trainer Tim Lentych arrived to check on him.

Nestor Cortes walked Altuve for the second time in the inning, which was the first time this year that he walked two batters in a row. He then threw an 82 mph slider to Jeremy Pena, who hit it 408 feet to tie the game. After that at-bat, Lentych and Boone helped Cortes get out of the game.

Wandy Peralta, a lefty reliever, took over for Cortes. Later in the third, the Astros surged ahead a 4-3 on Yordan Alvarez’s double. Kyle Tucker added a single. This was all thanks to Peralta. The score was 6-5 against the Yankees.

Nestor Cortes didn’t pitch from August 21 to September 8 because of a strained left groin. When he came back, he made five starts in the regular season and two against Cleveland in the AL Division Series. Both his fastball and slider were about 1.5 mph slower than normal in Game 4 of the ALCS on Sunday night.

Boone said between innings on the TBS broadcast that Cortes had been having trouble with his left groin “kind of since the first game of the playoffs.” Boone also said that, despite the problem, he had been able to pitch well, but “it just started acting up more there.”

In the end, Nestor Cortes only got strikes on 28 of his 55 pitches. In two innings, he gave up two hits and three walks. The trip to the mound was the shortest he took all year.

Should the Yankees let Cortes play with a groin issue?

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