Clicking on ‘all cylinders’ not a necessity for 2024 Yankees, insists slugger

Yankees dugout scene after their win over the Twins at Yankee Stadium on June 4, 2024.
Inna Zeyger
Wednesday June 5, 2024

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After a triumphant West Coast road trip, the Yankees showcased their dominance once again on Tuesday night in The Bronx. Rookie phenom Luis Gil delivered another six shutout innings, while sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge powered the team to a decisive victory.

Stanton belted a towering two-run homer in the 8th inning, marking his 15th of the season. Despite his impressive stats, he has almost become an afterthought in the Yankees’ powerhouse lineup. Meanwhile, Judge drove in two runs with a double in the 3rd inning and added two more hits and RBIs to his tally.

“We don’t even have to click on all cylinders,’’ a confident Stanton said about the Yankees’ runaway success this season. “It’s really putting pressure on every pitcher we face. Sooner or later, we crack them.”

Judge’s double followed an impressive at-bat by rookie Anthony Volpe, who worked the count from 0-2 to a full count before singling to right off a challenging Bailey Ober slider. Volpe’s disciplined approach highlighted his advanced hitting skills. He and Judge are the first teammates with simultaneous 30-game on-base streaks since Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones for the 2003 Braves.

With contributions from the entire Yankees lineup and a standout performance on the mound from Gil, the Yankees overpowered the Twins. Their comprehensive display underscored why they have been baseball’s most dominant team over the past month.

The Gil factor for the Yankees

Yankees' Luis Gil is pitching against the Twins at Yankee Stadium on June 4, 2024.

Luis Gil has transitioned from merely limiting runs to practically stopping hits altogether. On Tuesday night, the Twins managed just one hit in six innings against the Yankees’ right-hander—a double by Christian Vazquez over a shallow-playing right fielder Juan Soto. Despite this, Vazquez did not score, as Gil has consistently shut the door on opponents when they manage to get runners on base.
Manager Aaron Boone noted Gil’s recent dominance, pointing out, “It’s hard to get a hit off of him. His stuff really plays.”
Gil leads the American League with a 1.82 ERA and boasts a major league-best .129 batting average against, with Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez a distant second at .167. Boone observed that Gil wasn’t even at his most overpowering against Minnesota.
Remarkably, a veteran-like calm and consistency characterize the 26-year-old. Gil appears unfazed by any situation, maintaining a steady routine that contributes to his outstanding results, even without his elite stuff or in high-leverage spots. The Twins went 0-for-6 against him with runners on base, dropping opponents to 7-for-76 (.092) in those situations. They failed in both opportunities with men in scoring position, making it 2-for-34 (.059) against the Yankees pitcher this season.

In his 12 starts, Gil has allowed three or fewer hits 10 times. He has now pitched at least six innings and allowed one or no runs in seven consecutive outings. According to MLB stats expert Sarah Langs, that’s the longest such streak by a Yankees pitcher and just the fourth time it has been done by a rookie, with Christy Mathewson’s eight straight in 1901 being the only longer streak.
The Yankees‘ elite defense was flawless yet again, ranking third in Defensive Runs Saved. Relievers Ian Hamilton and Luke Weaver delivered dominant 1-2-3 innings out of the bullpen as New York secured its sixth straight win, 5-1 over Minnesota, improving to 43-19 on the season.
With Gil setting the tone by taking a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, the Yankees overwhelmed the Twins in all facets. Gil’s ability to miss bats with ease while bearing down in high-leverage situations has made him virtually unhittable during his historic run.

The middle order keeps Yankees afloat


Giancarlo Stanton remarked that the heart of the Yankees’ lineup is formidable, saying they don’t need to be firing on all cylinders to put pressure on every pitcher they face. He noted that sooner or later, they break through.

Stanton’s observation was evident on a night when Juan Soto, batting second, didn’t register a hit but managed to draw two walks ahead of Aaron Judge. Manager Aaron Boone highlighted the relentless nature of the offense, praising not only the red-hot performances of Soto and Judge but also the key contributions from the supporting cast.

Boone pointed out that Stanton has been a consistent threat in the middle of the lineup all season, with 15 home runs. On Tuesday, Gleyber Torres added a spark from the bottom of the order by hitting his third homer in 13 games.

Boone emphasized the advantage of having Soto and Judge in the 2-3 spots, stating that their presence significantly boosts the team’s offensive power. This relentless offense propelled the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota, extending their winning streak to six games, just one shy of their season high.

“What Juan and Aaron are doing is really special, but also the supporting cast,’’ the Yankees manager said. “[Stanton] has been a threat in the middle all year … and we’ve gotten contributions from the bottom of the order.”

The win allowed the Yankees to keep pace with the Phillies for the best record in the majors at 43-19. With the combination of Soto and Judge’s powerful bats and elite starting pitching from Gerrit Cole and the emerging Luis Gil, the Yankees’ rotation boasts a 2.73 ERA. After Cole won the Cy Young last year with a 2.63 ERA, this juggernaut team shows potential to become even more dominant.

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