LOS ANGELES — Nestor Cortes promised to put on a show.
A walk to Mets slugger Pete Alonso may have taken away some of the full array of tricks he had up his sleeve, but the Yankees’ lefty still enjoyed himself while tossing a scoreless sixth inning in the American League’s 3-2 win over the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
Cortes, the 5-foot-11, former 36th-round pick, also hit a batter but struck out a pair as part of six straight no-hit innings by the AL bullpen.
“I feel like there’s a lot that I can put on the table for people to see,” Cortes said. “Average height, average guy playing the best sport in the world, puts a lot for kids in perspective of what they can do and what they could accomplish.”
Throwing to teammate Jose Trevino — with both mic’d up on the Fox broadcast — Cortes messed with his delivery once against Alonso and changed his arm slot on other pitches, showing off some of the craftiness that helped him establish himself as a surprise staple in the Yankees rotation.
“I was a little nerve-wracking [to be communicating with the booth and pitching],” Cortes said. “I’m trying to listen to the guys. I’m trying to think what I’m gonna throw, but I’m still trying to execute so a little overwhelming, but it was a good experience. I loved it. I had a lot of fun, especially doing it with Trevy and us being connected.”
Trevino, who added a single, relished the opportunity to catch Cortes in both’s first All-Star Game.
“It was incredible,” Trevino said. “For the fans to get an inside look at what we talk about and what we do, that was pretty special.”
Managers and players on both teams lauded MLB’s “legacy selections,” which added Cardinals staple Albert Pujols and Tigers great Miguel Cabrera to the game as they wind down their careers.
“I love the legacy pick,” Yankees ace Gerrit Cole said. “I think it’s good to celebrate the consistency of these guys’ careers. Even though maybe not the first half has been quite as magical as some other guys, they’ve been out there for 20 years. In my opinion, that’s an All-Star.”
Cole likened it to CC Sabathia being honored at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland in the final season of his career (though he was not added to the All-Star team).
“You know how he is, just Big Papa in the corner and everybody’s coming up to him,” Cole said. “The young guys, myself, just … talking pitching, you never know how impactful making somebody feel welcome in that situation and what that does for their career. Or maybe an actual tip or two. Just feeding that knowledge back into the product is really good for the long term.”
Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil was hit by an Alek Manoah slider in the second inning — fitting for the team that led MLB with 63 hit-by-pitches at the break. McNeil had his week-old son, Lucas, in attendance.
“It was fantastic,” McNeil said. “He’s not gonna remember anything, but we’ll have some cool pictures when he gets older.”
— Additional reporting by Joel Sherman