Well well well, how the turntables.
On July 4, the Yankees were 10 games behind the Red Sox and 0-6 against their AL East rivals. Today, after completing a two-game doubleheader sweep by winning the evening game 2-0, the Yankees sit one game up on the Sox in the loss column. If the season ended today, the Yankees would make the playoffs as a wild card. What a crazy ride this month has been; now all the Yankees have to do is keep up with the competition for the last 7 weeks of the year. To the takeaways –
Gil’s run continues. 23-year old Luis Gil, who made his major league debut on August 3, continued his dazzling early-career run with another 4.2 innings of scoreless ball. Rohan did a great writeup on Gil’s stuff, talent, and potential earlier today, and mentioned that the Red Sox would be a “huge test” for him as the first elite offense he’s faced in his big league career. He certainly passed that test today, as he struck out four and became the only pitcher in history to have three consecutive scoreless starts at the beginning of his career. Pretty crazy.
Gil continued to locate his fastball up in the zone and was consistently sitting 97-98 on his 4-seamer. He threw 83 pitches, the fewest of his three starts, and did not stay in the game long enough to get the win, but shut the Red Sox down when it counted – after getting himself into trouble in the second inning by giving up a walk to J.D. Martinez and a single to Kyle Schwarber leading off the inning, he turned up the heat and struck out Kevin Plawecki, Jarren Duran, and Travis Shaw in succession to get out of the jam. He was pulled with the bases loaded in the 5th, but did well enough to maintain his perfect ERA. Despite their recent struggles, the Sox are a very strong offense and holding them scoreless is definitely a feather in Gil’s cap.
Magic Wandy. Gil stayed at zero with a big assist from Wandy Peralta, who was brought in with the bases loaded and two outs in the 5th inning to try and maintain the two-run lead. He had the unenviable task of facing Rafael Devers and initially fell behind, but came back to get him on a ground ball to preserve the lead and Gil’s historic start. He also pitched the sixth, where he got out of a runners-on-the-corners, two-out jam of his own making with a fantastic defensive play, knocking down a line drive mid-follow through and recovering to get Bobby Dalbec at first base. Peralta has now pitched 8.2 scoreless innings in the month of August, lowering his season ERA from 4.94 to 4.09.
Not much offense, but good enough. The Yankees got eight hits this evening, but really only needed two – their only runs were scored on solo homers from Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton’s home run went 441 feet and was hit at 111 mph, which is pedestrian from him but noteworthy for any other hitter. DJ LeMahieu picked up a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 although he was not part of any scoring.
- Chad Green came on in the 7th for his second save in as many days, retiring the Red Sox in order to seal the win. It was his 5th save of the season.
- The Yankees have now played 68 games decided by 1 or 2 runs, including their last 6. They have only played 24 games all year decided by 5 or more runs.