Game 106: Gil dominates O’s in MLB debut

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Well, that’s more like it. A day after being outclassed by a cat that escaped onto the field, the Yankees stormed back with a nice and easy 13-1 victory which is how it should be against the Orioles. Luis Gil had an incredible MLB debut and the bats showed up to back the rookie. Onto the takeaways:

Luis Gil might be the real deal. Pronounce his name properly and that rhymes. Gil was called up at the last minute to replace Gerrit Cole in the rotation after Cole’s positive COVID test, and you can’t ask for anything more from a guy in his first MLB start.

Gil blanked the Orioles across six strong innings. He allowed just 4 hits, struck out six, and walked only one. Here’s his pitch plot on the evening:

You can see the game plan was clearly to keep the fastball up and the changeup down. The slider was a bit all over the place and you’ll notice that bottom left quadrant – where you ideally want to throw the slider – is sorely lacking pitches though this is all just nitpicking because Gil was outstanding tonight.

He is known for an electric fastball – MLB Pipeline gives it a 75/80 rating which is absolutely elite, elite stuff – and Gil had a great one tonight. He averaged 96 mph on the pitch with a 2,464 rpm spin rate to boot. The pitch had a 33% CSW rate and you could see the O’s hitters late on it all night long.

Gil also used his slider as a get-me-over pitch early in the count getting 9 called strikes with it which was certainly an interesting approach. Some of those probably weren’t on purpose though. The biggest positive for Gil tonight was actually his control. He is known as a guy who struggles in that area, walking 14% of batters faced in the minors this year, yet he only walked one tonight. That was the real key for Gil. Finding a way to get the ball over the plate. It helped that the putrid Orioles lineup couldn’t hit the ball hard with an average exit velo of 87.6 mph and they didn’t get a single XBH off the rookie. Per Katie Sharp on Twitter, it was the first Yankee debut of 6+ IP, 0 R, and 6+ K’s since 1907. A fantastic debut for Gil and I hope we see more of him.

The offense remembers who they are facing. Last night left a bad taste in all of our mouths and seemingly for the Yankee hitters as well because they came out swinging tonight against soft-tossing lefty Alexander Wells.

A Gleyber Torres double to score Gary in the 2nd started things off and the Yankees broke it open in the 3rd. After only getting 3 hits all of last night, they got 4 hits in a row scoring 5 in the 3rd. Here’s how they got it done:

Giancarlo Stanton made this one a laugher in the 4th with a 3-run homer marking his first HR since July 20.

What I love about those hits is how many of them are up the middle or to the opposite field. Don’t get me wrong – pulling the ball is awesome and leads to the most power, but when you’re a struggling offense, taking what the pitcher gives you and hitting it hard back up the middle or going oppo is a sign of a great approach. It means they’re staying back and trusting themselves to make solid contact. It was just their 3rd time scoring more than 4 runs since the All-Star break. In that 3rd inning, the Bombers hit 4 balls over 90 mph which will lead to great outcomes. As a team they were 7-13 with RISP and only left 3 on base. Nice to start seeing that regression.

More debuts! After Gil exited, Stephen Ridings came in and was absolutely electric. The 6’8″ ginger from Long Island struck out the side generating a 63% CSW on his pitches. Check out this awesomeness:

It was an incredible display and let’s just say us at Views are all aboard the Ridings train after that.

Leftovers

  • Great game for DJ LeMahieu with 2 “doubles” (one was a Baltimore miscue) and 3 hard hit balls. He and Gleyber Torres were both 3 for their last 21 before hitting doubles tonight.
  • DJ, Rizzo, Stanton, Gary, and Gleyber all had multi-hit games in this one. Great to see that. Joey Gallo was the only player to go hitless.
  • Brody Koerner also made his MLB debut in this one to close it out. He gave up 1 run in his 2 innings of work. It was the first time in Yankee history 3 pitches made their MLB debut in the same game.

The Yankees go for the series win tomorrow night. It’ll be July pitcher of the month Jameson Taillon against Matt Harvey at 7:08pm eastern.

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7 Comments

  1. MikeD

    The inconsistency with “official scorer” rulings is always a bit perplexing. In Miami, Rizzo was charged with an error on a ball that should have been caught when it fell between Rizzo and Gleyber when Gleyber seemed to call him off after Rizzo initially called for the ball. A bit of miscommunication on the part of two new teammates, no doubt. Bottom line is an error was correctly called, even if there’s a question about who should get the error. Flip forward a couple days, and DJLM is awarded a “double” on an easy fly to the OF. Baseball rules say the CF should take everything he can and the left- and right-fielders are taught to always yield to the CF when he calls for it, and indeed the CF–Mullins– called for the easy catch, causing the RFer to correctly yield, but then Mullins also yielded after he called for it. Like the play in Miami, it should have been ruled an error, and in this case there wasn’t even ambiguity on who should be charged with the error. It was Mullins’ ball all the way, yet an error was charged in Miami, and a hit rewarded in NY.

    Now, I really don’t care if MLB decides to always award a hit on a ball that never touches a glove, even though it’s clear a miscommunication between fielders led to the ball dropping in. We can consider it part of the luck of the game that happens a few times a year. Frankly, that’s what MLB has done throughout its history. You’d rarely, if ever, see an error called on a ball like the one Rizzo was charged with. For some reason we’re now seeing greater inconsistency on these calls by official scorers. It would be simple to fix. Come up with a clear rule, or institute the always-talked-about-but-never-implemented “team error.”

    Oh, yeah. Nice win!

  2. stevecwang13

    Ridings is a graduate of Haverford College, a small D-3 school outside of Philadelphia better known for its academics than its athletics. Don’t see too many Haverford grads in MLB, at least as players (they do have several agents and front office people, e.g. Arn Tellem).

  3. Terry from LA

    If they lose to Harvey my head will explode. Nice job by the rookie pitchers tonight. Gil looked sharp, the red haired kid was dominant. Koerner’s ball moves a lot. Be interesting to see how long they stay up. Routing the O’s means nothing.

  4. Evan3457

    Taillon may be the pitcher of the month, but Harvey is hot now after a terrible first half of the season that saw his ERA balloon to 7.20.

    Last 3 starts, all at least 6 innings, and all of them 0 runs.

    This Frangraphs write-up in their waiver wire list from this Sunday explains something about what Harvey has changed:

    https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/waiver-wire-report-week-18/

  5. Mungo

    Great start by Gil. He’s mercurial at this stage, but we got the good Gil tonight. Can definitely see why he’s a top prospect. Let’s hope he can maintain that command, because the Yankees will need him for a least a couple more starts.

    Ridings is the first guy the Yankees have called up from the minors that I’ve never heard of before. Had to do some quick research and I can see why I wasn’t familiar with him. Cut by the Royals. The Yankees seem to have converted him from a starter tp a reliever and did their magic in adding velocity. That was an electric performance. I think the Yankees and Boone were laughing watching him pitch for the same reason I was, thinking “who the hell are you and where have you been hiding?”

  6. Jacob Hickens

    I love you all at Views from 314 Feet. Been reading for years. Thanks so much for all the work you all do. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds.

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