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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/20/21

Corey Kluber throws a no-hitter; teammates react to Kluber’s night; Boone comments on White Sox unwritten rules fiasco; Deivi lighting it up in Triple-A

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

NY Post | Ken Davidoff: There’s been a lot of concern this year regarding the level of dominance that pitchers have achieved this season. No-hitters have been a big part of that conversation — there had been five official no-hitters already entering Wednesday after Spencer Turnbull threw one for the Tigers, and the modern era record was only two away at seven. There were whisperings of whether the accomplishment might be losing its flair, and debate over how much of an achievement it actually is at the moment.

Then Corey Kluber went out and threw a no-hitter for the Yankees in the heart of Texas, against the team he was traded to last year and only tossed a single inning for before an injury deprived him of his season. The Yankees hadn’t seen a no-hitter since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999, and there was jubilation from every member of the team when the final out was recorded. You can have the conversation about the oddity that is this year, but have no doubt that no-hitters are still very much an incredible moment — and the Yankees got theirs on Wednesday. (If you haven’t seen Josh’s reflections on it, they’re worth a read.)

WFAN Radio | Ryan Chichester: Kluber may have been showcasing the usual cool, stoic demeanor that earns you the nickname Klubot, but his teammates were going through a rollercoaster of emotions behind him. Brett Gardner, in defiance of all believers in jinxing, openly talked about the potential no-no to Tyler Wade in the dugout, and the latter had goosebumps recalling the events of the night. Aaron Boone thought he saw the no-hit potential in Kluber from the very first inning, and Kyle Higashioka was fighting butterflies every time he went back onto the field towards the end of the game. Safe to say, the moment was massive for this club. | Jordan Horrobin: To think, just 24 hours ago there was a completely different no-hitter to talk about — or rather, to get overshadowed by a different story. White Sox manager Tony La Russa made some controversial stances of late after his player Yermín Mercedes broke an unwritten rule of baseball — mashing a 3-0 floater from position-player-acting-as-a-pitcher Willians Astudillo. La Russa said Mercedes had “disrespected the game” and then didn’t take exception to Tyler Duffey buzzing a ball by Mercedes in the following game, while his clubhouse had the reverse reaction.

How does this relate to the Yankees? Well, prior to Wednesday’s game, Boone was asked for his thoughts on the unwritten rules of baseball. Boone didn’t have a problem with Mercedes swinging on the 3-0 pitch since Boone believed that the Twins’ choice to pitch a position player was a clear sign of forfeit. Had it been a normal pitcher, Boone could see the argument, but thought that Astudillo being on the mound made things fair game. He then brought up a mercy rule concept, something he had thrown out a few years ago, adding that though he didn’t necessarily support a mercy rule he thought it would be beneficial to discuss it. | Brendan Kuty: If you’ve been following the Baby Bomber Recaps, you might have noticed that Deivi García has made a significant turnaround of late. The 22-year-old was all over the place in his first start back at Triple-A after getting demoted, but has since put up a pair of gems. Sam Briend, the Yankees’ director of pitching, noted that García has had several areas of improvement pointed out to him, and the top pitching prospect corrected his form quickly. García could push for another call-up soon, especially since Jameson Taillon has been struggling in the Yankee rotation.