Can Luis Gil repeat his stellar outing against Blue Jays in Toronto?

Yankees pitcher Luis Gill claps following his outing against the D-Backs on April 2, 2024, in Phoenix.

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Yankees hurler Luis Gil found himself in a precarious situation during the top of the third inning against the Blue Jays on April 7. His body language betrayed the pressure as he struggled with his command.

Giancarlo Stanton’s impressive home run may have been the highlight, but Luis Gil showcased a commendable performance on the pitcher’s mound for the Yankees. Making his second start post his 2022 Tommy John surgery, Gil limited the Blue Jays to two runs on a mere two hits over 4 1/3 innings. Despite facing challenges with home plate umpire Angel Hernández’s decisions, Luis Gil maintained control, striking out eight batters with skillful precision.

While acknowledging a preference for longer outings from Luis Gil, Yankees manager Aaron Boone recognized the value of the young pitcher’s experience in that game against the Blue Jays. With Gerrit Cole sidelined, Luis Gil’s development becomes even more crucial. Boone emphasized the importance of Gil sharpening his control and managing his emotions when facing command issues.

Luis Gil of the Yankees returns to dugout after pitching against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on April 01, 2024.

Luis Gill didn’t lose composure despite devilish umpiring

Luis Gil issued walks to Bo Bichette and Alejandro Kirk with two outs, loading the bases and surrendering a run. Compounding his frustration, home plate umpire Angel Hernandez appeared to be missing some of his close pitches.

Despite the adversity, Luis Gil demonstrated resilience, escaping the inning by striking out Cavan Biggio with the bases loaded. Just as he exited the field, Hernandez beckoned him over for a routine sticky substance check in foul territory. Seizing the opportunity, the erring umpire imparted words of advice, reminding Luis Gil to adhere to the pitch clock regulations and maintain eye contact with the hitters.

Returning to the dugout visibly frustrated, Luis Gil was met by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who offered him a much-needed boost of encouragement. Later, he revealed that someone (presumably a coach or teammate) also provided him with crucial guidance, urging him to stay composed, maintain focus, and adopt an aggressive mindset when he returned to the mound.

Yankees pitcher Luis Gil is in action against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 1, 2024.

Boone observed Luis Gil’s struggles with pitch location and the impact of his frustration on his performance. He encouraged the pitcher to focus on executing his pitches regardless of outside factors, maintaining composure, and avoiding emotional reactions to calls that might not go his way.

A key asset for Yankees

Returning to the mound in the fourth inning with a boost from Stanton’s grand slam, Luis Gil showcased remarkable resilience by striking out all three batters he faced. Boone lauded the pitcher for his ability to bounce back after a difficult inning, regaining control and providing the team with solid pitching through the fifth. He reiterated the importance of maintaining composure, especially in the face of adversity.

Despite being tagged with an additional earned run in the fifth after being pulled, Luis Gil’s overall performance remained encouraging. He matched his career high with eight strikeouts, demonstrating his ability to overpower hitters. Furthermore, the rookie induced an impressive 12 whiffs on 35 swings throughout the game.

Opponents have struggled mightily against Luis Gil so far this season, managing a meager .103 batting average. His fastball clocked in at a blistering 98.4 mph, showcasing his power. The changeup, a pitch he honed during his recovery from Tommy John surgery, displayed exceptional movement, averaging 90.3 mph with significant horizontal and vertical breaks. This refined pitch adds another weapon to his arsenal, making him a more well-rounded and unpredictable pitcher.

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