El Duque watches as Luis Gil breaks his Yankees rookie strikeout mark

Yankees' Luis Gil before the game against the Chicago White Sox, on May 19, 2024

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Following another extraordinary victory for the New York Yankees on Saturday, Luis Gil dazzled fans by recording 14 strikeouts, setting a new Yankees single-game rookie record. The day had a touch of destiny, with Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez delivering the ceremonial first pitch.

When the game had ended, Luis Gil acknowledged his luck in turning in a quality start yet again while donning the pinstripes, and Nick Burdi had positive things to say about his own appearance as well.

What happened?

Yankees' Luis Gil during the game against the Chicago White Sox
Yankees

Luis Gil’s exceptional performance took place at Yankee Stadium against the Chicago White Sox, propelling the Yankees to a decisive 6-1 win. The Dominican-born pitcher wielded a dominant fastball-changeup combination that proved overwhelming for White Sox batters, generating 19 out of 22 swing-and-misses. Over the course of six innings, Gil allowed just five hits, one run, and issued only one walk.

In a fortuitous twist, Gil’s 14 strikeouts broke the previous Yankees rookie record, which was held by Orlando Hernandez—the same pitcher who threw the ceremonial first pitch that day. This achievement places Gil among an elite group of Yankees pitchers, becoming the 11th in team history to notch at least 14 strikeouts in a regular-season game, following Gerrit Cole’s similar feat in September 2022.

This standout performance by Luis Gil marks the 16th game in Yankees history, including postseason, where a pitcher has struck out 14 or more batters. One of the most memorable in this category remains Roger Clemens’ 15 strikeouts against the Seattle Mariners during the 2000 American League Championship Series.

Luis Gil etched his name into Yankees lore this weekend, the 25-year-old right-hander’s dominance matched some of the greatest single-game strikeout totals in franchise history, tying him with legendary names like Gerrit Cole, David Cone, Ron Guidry, and Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Bob Shawkey.

Only four Yankees have ever recorded more strikeouts in a game than Gil’s 14 – Cone (18 in 1997), Guidry (18 in 1978), Michael Pineda and David Wells (16 each). With his overpowering arsenal on full display, Gil announced himself as the latest potential ace to don the famed Yankees uniform.

At just 26 years old, Luis Gil has established himself as a key player, sporting an impressive season ERA of 2.39, the best among Yankees starters.

Here’s how Gil’s remarkable game fits into the broader history of Yankees pitching, according to Stathead:

PlayerStrikeoutsDate
Ron Guidry18June 17, 1978
David Cone16June 23, 1997
Michael Pineda16May 10, 2015
David Wells16July 30, 1997
Gerrit Cole15Sept. 1, 2021
Whitey Ford15April 22, 1959
Bob Shawkey15Sept. 27, 1919
Masahiro Tanaka15Sept. 29, 2017
Luis Gil14May 18, 2024
Gerrit Cole14Sept. 7, 2022
David Cone14June 7, 1998
Al Downing14July 6, 1963
Ron Guidry14July 11, 1987
CC Sabathia14July 26, 2011
Masahiro Tanaka14July 28, 2017

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