Game 111: Gil impresses again but gets no run support

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The Yankees remain allergic to the sweep. I know they swept Miami just last weekend, but this has been a constant issue all year long. Today, they lost 2-0 to the Mariners with a chance for the rare four game sweep. Oh well. At least Boston lost again, but it was at the hands of the Blue Jays, who are now just a half game behind the Yanks. Tampa Bay won too, moving six games up on the Yankees in the loss column.

Today’s loss is mostly on the offense, which went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Aaron Boone didn’t put his best foot forward with the bullpen in the eighth inning, but at the same time, it’s impossible to win without scoring a run (obviously). Hey, at least Luis Gil looked very good once again. Let’s get to the takeaways:

Aaron Boone bungled the eighth inning. Again, you can’t win a game without scoring runs, but I think it’s fair to quibble with Boone’s usage of Lucas Luetge in the eighth inning of a 0-0 game. Were neither of Chad Green or Zack Britton available? Both pitched back-to-back days on Thursday and Friday, but were off yesterday. Is three games in four days asking for too much? Perhaps.

And yet, Britton warmed up while the Yankees were trailing in the bottom of the ninth. Where was he when the game was still tied? Especially when Luetge didn’t look good. Granted, Rougned Odor’s error to start the frame hurt, but it took just three batters for the Mariners to take a 1-0 lead.

Luetge needed 28 pitches to finish the eighth, but was very lucky he didn’t need to throw more. The home plate umpire gifted him a called strike three against Jarred Kelenic, who along with his manager got ejected thereafter. Then, on Cal Raleigh’s RBI single, Joey Gallo made a perfect throw to the plate to prevent a second run from scoring on the play (out call was made on replay, initial call was safe).

So, not only was Britton apparently available in the first place, but he also wasn’t considered an option until the Yankees were already behind. Not good. Terrible bullpen management from Aaron Boone.

Luis Gil is going to carve out a role for the rest of the year if he keeps this up. The Yankees have an entire starting rotation on the injured list right now — Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Corey Kluber, Luis Severino, and Domingo Germán — but Luis Gil is making a case to stick around down the stretch. Perhaps he’ll be crowded out of the rotation, but at the very least, he’s shown why he could be a prominent multi-inning relief arm this season. Today, Gil shut out the Mariners across five innings and struck out eight batters.

Like his previous outing, Gil’s stuff was terrific this afternoon. He overpowered the Mariners mostly with his fastball and slider, though there were a few good changeups in there too.

Pitch typeUsage% Whiffs/SwingsWhiff%Avg. Velocity (MPH)Avg. Spin Rate (RPM)
4-seamer5510/273795.92,438
Slider366/144384.72,481
Changeup91/42592.91,844

That’s a top-30 in MLB four-seamer spin rate and well above the 2,283 RPM league average. The slider is only slightly above average in terms of spin, but it gets a ton of movement: 53 percent more horizontal movement than the average slider. Gil’s changeup is still a work in progress, and he’ll need it as a third pitch to remain a starter long-term, but it flashes the ability to be an above average offering.

Although the box score makes Gil’s day look dominant, I’d be remiss not to mention his second inning, which was not so easy. A defensive gaffe didn’t help (no one covered second base on a potential 3-6-3 double play, causing Luke Voit’s throw to go into left field), but the Mariners also made Gil work. Seattle loaded the bases against him with one out, yet the 23 year-old escaped unscathed after 31 pitches. It’s not always easy to bounce back from a defensive mistake, especially as a young pitcher, but Gil did an excellent job to bear down. That frame was arguably more impressive than anything else we saw from him this afternoon.

Gil’s going to remain in the rotation for the time being. He’s earned it and there are spots open anyway. And if he keeps putting up zeroes, he may not ever be taken out of the rotation. Of course, a lot can change between now and the next couple of weeks as players return from the injured list. Nonetheless, Gil’s stuff is too good to toil away at Triple-A the rest of the year. He’s got one of the best arms in the organization, and at the minimum, should get a chance in relief where he could dominate in short spurts.

Luke Voit looked rusty. Today was the first baseman’s first game back with the Yankees since July 11th. He figured to be back fairly soon, but perhaps not this soon. Anthony Rizzo tested positive for COVID-19 after yesterday’s game, adding yet another to the list for this team, which necessitated Voit’s return despite just three rehab games in Scranton. And maybe to no surprise, Voit did not look quite ready at the plate.

Voit went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and five runners left on base this afternoon. Yuesei Kikuchi overpowered Voit with fastballs today. The whiffs were either middle-middle or up:

It’s one thing to swing through a fastball or two, but Kikuchi went to the well a bunch of times against Voit without concern. That’s definitely a sign of rust on the batter’s part.

At least Voit played a fine first base this afternoon. And regardless of Voit’s offensive performance, this was an all-around poor game from the lineup. The team stranded eleven runners and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Gleyber Torres had three hits including a double, but the rest of the offense was pretty lifeless. The only other knocks were Joey Gallo’s bunt single and Brett Gardner’s single off the pitcher.

Anyway, Voit should be a boon to this lineup as he dusts off the cobwebs. Good thing they didn’t trade him now that Rizzo is out for a little while.

Leftovers

  • Gleyber Torres jammed his right hand sliding into second base in the fourth inning today. He stayed in the game after getting checked on, but later was removed on defense in the top of the ninth inning for Tyler Wade. Torres struck out in the bottom of the eighth before his removal, but didn’t swing, so I’m not sure he aggravated it. Or, he may not have been comfortable swinging in the first place. In any event, he’s getting an MRI on his thumb.
  • As noted in the Voit section, Anthony Rizzo was placed on the COVID-19 injured list. While still with the Cubs, he said that he chose not to receive the vaccine against the virus because he wanted to see more data. Assuming he hasn’t changed his mind, he’s going to be down for a minimum of ten days. Hopefully he is OK.
  • Yet another couple of nice outings for Stephen Ridings and Albert Abreu. They combined to strike out five in two innings. Wandy Peralta also tossed a clean inning out of the ‘pen.

While not a great finish to the homestand, the Yankees did go 5-2 against the Orioles and Mariners this week and are playing much, much better. They start a road trip against the Royals and White Sox next, including the Field of Dreams game on Thursday.

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30 Comments

  1. Disco

    Is Rizzo not a cancer survivor? I’m assuming he’s a unique case & depends on the medical advice of people that know him & his immune system best. The level of judgemental & foolish character assassination I find staggering from afar (thank God) regardless. Reading the increasing politicization of this thread along with truly misinformed dogma…..no wonder the US is in the state it is. Very sad.

  2. Pieter

    Think the bullpen management point might be overblown. If just Britton is available and he can only do one inning anyway, you’re going to have to use Luetge either way. Luetge has the chance to give you more than one, though, so if the offense goes off you can save Britton. The only issue with that is that it was the top of the lineup. But also, do we really think Luetge is much worse than Britton right now? (And the error matters a lot here. Not fair to downplay that but emphasize the Gallo play; without that error Luetge doesn’t need the Gallo play.)

    • Jersey Jerry

      The main issue about bullpen mismanagement is that it was the top of the order. Therefore, Britton was the correct move. Assuming that the Yanks were tied or ahead after the 8th, Green or Lasagna (if available) should have pitched the 9th. Abreu and Luetge are then held back for extra innings.

  3. Jersey Jerry

    Remember when Gleyber Torres (in 2017 while at Scranton) tore his elbow ligament sliding head-first into home, thus requiring TJS and delaying his MLB debut by 10 months? Apparently he doesn’t!

    • DZB

      I had the same thought after seeing the comment from Boone (via MLBTR) that he was concerned that Torres had “suffered a notable injury”. Yikes.

  4. Joel

    Of course, the right-wing people who spread disinformation about vaccines commonly fall into the category of racists, like Bartholomew. Bottom line is don’t be a dope, get vaccinated, for yourself, your family, your community, your team, and your country.

    • Rich

      You are correct sir!

    • MikeD

      The media narrative on who is and isn’t getting vaccinated is designed to divide. It’s the politicization of the virus driven by the two major political parties. When an honest analysis is done reviewing the types of groups who are resisting vaccines, a slightly different and more complex picture emerges. That, of course, doesn’t mean baseball fans won’t made.broad societal determinations about vaccines based on the color of a player’s skin or where he was born.

      The one part of your post I agree with strongly: get vaccinated.

  5. Mhous

    Judge is not vaccinated either. Why no hate for him?

    • Joewhar

      Good point. Apparently this may be so because you can’t call Judge right wing or racist. And apparently some feel the vaccination should not be political while they then proceed to make it political (and racial).

    • The Original Drew

      There was plenty of criticism for him missing the most important stretch of the season while being out with COVID.

  6. Mhous

    How come no criticism of Judge? Poor effort on the double in the 8th and just a no show AB to end the game. What is going on?

  7. Terry from LA

    Too bad Rizzo turns out to be a moron. Boone is still a moron.

    • Bartholomew

      Most of the cases are breakthrough

    • DZB

      Indeed – assuming he still was waiting ‘to see more data’, that is absolutely idiotic. In the UK alone (where I am writing from), there have been something like 100 million vaccinations (including first and second shots). That is an insane amount of data, and they have been extremely effective and safe.

  8. Joey Galleddardo

    Well I thought it was the worst loss of the season, Derek. Gil most certainly belongs and has earned a spot in the rotation even when Cole and Monty return. But my guess is they give him the Greg Allen treatment. Jonathan Davis still has no hits and is hitting .140. Why did we get him again? I don’t fault Boone for using Leutge in the 8th. The lineup scored zero runs again and has mostly looked lifeless against starting pitching. Boston lost again in dramatic fashion so this was a big lossed opportunity in a winnable game.

    It’s just baffling to me that the organization with the most resources doesn’t know how viruses spread. Why weren’t protocols put into place after the first outbreak of Loisaga and Nestor? They’ve just been letting this thing run rampant and haven’t changed a thing! Soon Stanton will get it, then Green, then Britton, then Gallo and the only people who won’t get it are Wade, Nick Nelson, Jonathan Davis and Boone. Voit looked awful but so did everyone else who went 0-100 with RISP. Gleyber was hitting too much so of course he got hurt. Rizzo is dumb as a box of rocks but all that time he was in Chicago he didn’t get the virus. No other team has these outbreaks and I wish this was the NFL where we woulda had to forfeit these games. The entire medical/training staff are lazy quacks who cost us the World Series.

  9. Le Ground Ball Machine needs to get his swing fixed.

  10. Kansas

    uh…….how many guys do we have with Covid?

  11. Joel

    I am in love with Rizzo. He is headed for free agency, and tens of millions of dollars. But how stupid can you be not to be vaccinated? The United States is lost. Trump is evil, but the people who have buy into his lunacy are morons. And unfortunately, Rizzo fits the bill. And now Rizzo is lost for 10 days. He was the difference in today’s loss. Luke was lost. I know there are plenty of right-wing Yankee fans (and players). Blame today’s loss on your boy Trump.

    • TDS has caused more damage than any pandemic.

      • Loturn

        Ah yes, the sad little acronym used to hand wave away any criticisms. Bonus points for trivializing 600k + deaths in defense of a man who actively made the pandemic worse and constantly spread misinformation. Truly next level pathetic.

    • Not only that, but maybe if the players wear masks in the dugout and clubhouse like they did last year, they wouldn’t all be getting infected? I just don’t get it.

    • Milt Mankoff

      It doesn’t occur to these idiot anti-vaxxers that getting infected doesn’t only risk infecting themselves. Was waiting for more data? How many hundreds of millions of vaccinated people who are protected from death, serious illness, or long haul symptoms does he require to be convinced?

    • Steve

      1/10 troll effort.

    • Bartholomew

      Learn the facts. Minorities have the lowest vax rate and apparently they mostly vote for old white democrats. So you should get on your fellow Democrat voters and force them to get the vaccine.

      • Loturn

        Hahahah – this is one of the newest sad little lies from right-wing media to make the anti-science chuds feel better about being selfish idiots that don’t understand basic science while also giving them a lie so they can pretend their selfishness isn’t the reason we are having another massive waves as hospitals are overrun by the unvaccinated.

        Every single piece of data points to the fact that democrats are overwhelmingly vaccinated, especially compared to republicans (and especially republican men). Trying to pretend otherwise just shows how desperate you are to shift blame to anyone but the anti-vaxx idiots that refuse to get vaccinated because their Facebook groups told them it was bad (and yes, they’re overwhelmingly republicans).

        You can look up any number of surveys regarding this topic (as well as the published demographics of the vaccinated) and easily see that it certainly is not Democrats holding back vaccination rates in this country, no matter how hard you want it to be true. It’s not even particularly close, though some republicans are finally going out to get their vaccine after watching Covid cases explode.

    • Mikey

      Trump did get the vaccine you bozo. In fact he won’t stop pushing people to get it and raving about his “operation warp speed”. You don’t know too much.

      • Rich

        Mikey-Seriously? Trump is a totally selfish man and his caring doesn’t extend beyond who he sees in the mirror. Instead of doing commercials with all of the money that’s been donated to him encouraging people to be vaccinated, he cries about being removed from social media and that the election was stolen from him. Al Gore knew he had to concede for the good of the country. Trump could be doing the country a great service, but he only cares about himself.

        • Mikey

          I disagree but that’s okay.

          • Steel

            Gotta love calling someone a bozo and then immediately showing that you, in fact, “dont know too much”. Trump has been one of the main sources of covid misinformation from the very beginning – which is a pretty huge deal when his rabid supporters treat what he says as gospel; he undermined every scientifically backed public health measure, politicized those same health measures that help curb the spread of the virus, and tried as hard as he could to discredit scientists and doctors that dared to go against his awful response to the virus.

            If he “wont stop pushing people to get it” as you claim, he would have gotten the vaccine on TV and told his supporters to get it too. Meanwhile, at his rallies hes saying that people arent getting it because they dont trust Biden while also stressing people’s freedoms 100% to do what they feel is best. After how pathetically he handed the virus as president, the least he could do is actually continually tell his supporters to get vaccinated or even have vaccine tents outside his rallies.

            By all means though – keep pretending as if Trump is leading some vaccine charge. Meanwhile, the most recent polls suggest that that JUST 49% of Republicans say they have gotten vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated as we see the real world evidence of a strong correlation between how red a state is and how unvaccinated it is. Trump can do something about that but wont – shocker.

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