There was no cat loose on the field, but just about everything else went right for the Yankees tonight. After just a dreadful loss yesterday, New York clubbed the ball, had a brilliant start, and the team won the second game of this series, 13-1. Hell, even Tyler Wade had an RBI double.
The story of the game was Luis Gil. The 23-year old made his Major League debut after what had to be the most chaotic 24 hours of his life. After Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19, Gil was called upon to be the spot starter, took the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first time, and was absolutely phenomenal.
Gil threw six innings of shutout ball, notching six strikeouts against just a single walk, and completely took over the strike zone. He threw 15 of 23 first-pitch strikes, showing a total lack of fear of an opposing lineup that handled an MLB veteran just a day ago. Gil’s four-seam sat 96, touched 99 and averaged just south of 2500 rpm, which would put him comfortably in the 90th percentile across baseball. He also just ... looked cool, which is an asset in and of itself.
But I actually thought Gil’s best pitch was his changeup:
Luis Gil, 87mph Slider and 93mph Changeup, Overlay. pic.twitter.com/Pw8LZf6OUt— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 3, 2021
At 93 with that kind of movement, Statcast (and Paul O’Neill) mistake it for a two-seam or sinker, but it’s thrown with a changeup grip and hitters really didn’t know what to do with it. A 20 percent whiff rate on the change to go along with a 33 percent rate on the fastball — that’ll play. With Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo Germán all on the shelf for at least 10 days, its hard to argue that Gil doesn’t deserve another start. Bravo, sir.
Stephen Ridings and Brady Koerner also made their MLB debuts, the first time the team has seen three pitchers start their careers in the same game since 1950. Ridings dominated, striking out three and allowing a hit, and Koerner had a little bit of a rougher go, allowing a run on a pair of hits and hitting a batter. Gil is the story, but all three men did just fine for themselves, and left us with more than their share of great pitching gifs:
After suffering through last night, the Yankees finally looked like a team facing a starter with a swollen ERA. Gleyber Torres doubled in Gary Sánchez in the second inning to open the scoring, and then four straight hits — DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton — plated three in the third inning. Rizzo’s run-scoring hit in particular was a weird one:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a run come in on a bounce like that. Sánchez added an RBI double of his own, his second hit of the game, to chase Alexander Wells from the game. All in all, the club scored five runs, sending nine men to the plate in the game, giving us hope for a well-needed laugher.
Stanton capped off said laugh-fest with a three-run blast to make it 9-0:
Even when the Yankees have won this year, too often it’s been too close to really sit back and enjoy — the series against the Marlins is a perfect example. This was the most runs they’ve scored in a game this year, and Aaron Judge added the cherry on top with a solo homer to make it a 13-1 final score. The pitching for the team has been terrific, including tonight, and they sit outside the postseason picture. They get back into October by hitting, so fingers crossed that this is the start of something for that lineup.
They can keep it up tomorrow by hitting the snot out of Matt Harvey, while Jameson Taillon will be tasked with following Gil and his own hot award-winning run of pitching lately. That game comes at 7:05pm Eastern.