Luis Gil’s nasty stuff amazes Yankees, overwhelms Rays in 10-6 win

Yankees Luis Gil is pitching against the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 12, 2024.
Michael Bennington
Monday May 13, 2024

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Yankees’ Luis Gil is no longer just a talent riddled with injuries but someone making waves with his impressive arsenal on the mound. Armed with a blazing 99 mph fastball, a devastating slider, and a much-improved changeup, Luis Gil has become a force to be reckoned with in the Yankees’ rotation. In Sunday’s game, he delivered another stellar outing, tossing six shutout innings and leading the Yankees to a 10-6 victory, despite a late scare from the bullpen.

Luis Gil’s dominance was on full display as he struck out three batters and walked two, while also showcasing his toughness by shaking off a 109.6 mph one-hopper that clipped his right shin in the third inning. With this performance, the pitcher improved his record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.51 among the Yankees’ starting pitchers.

The Yankees appeared to be in control, holding a comfortable 6-0 lead until the seventh inning, when the Rays mounted a furious comeback, scoring five runs and threatening to tie the game with the bases loaded and only one out. However, the Yankees’ bullpen managed to escape the jam and secure the win.

Once considered a temporary solution to fill in for Gerrit Cole, Luis Gil has quickly become a problem for opposing teams. Since allowing five runs in five innings against the Brewers on April 26, he has been nearly untouchable, surrendering just one run over his last 18 ¹/₃ innings.

His recent string of dominant starts has made Luis Gil the first Yankee pitcher since Cole in 2022 to throw at least six innings while allowing one run or fewer in three consecutive outings.

Luis Gil takes center stage, flashes nasty arsenal

Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Luis Gil’s performance, noting that hitters often provide valuable insights into a pitcher’s effectiveness. Boone mentioned that rival batters frequently feel overwhelmed by his stuff, struggling to make solid contact even when they manage to connect. He attributed this to factors such as deception, velocity, and spin, suggesting that the hitters’ reactions are a testament to the quality of Luis Gil’s pitches.

“Hitters tell you a lot, and they’re overwhelmed a lot by his stuff,” the Yankees manager said. “Even when they get a good swing off, they’re not quite able usually to clip it. That’s a testament to, whether it’s deception, velocity, spin, whatever it may be, hitters tell you that thing’s getting on you.”

Yankees Luis Gil reacts during his start against the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 12, 2024.
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Despite not having his sharpest command early in the game, walking two batters in the first two innings and taking a comebacker off his shin in the third, Luis Gil settled in and found his groove. He retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced, allowing only three hits throughout the entire outing.

Although Luis Gil recorded his lowest strikeout total of the season with three, they were nonetheless impressive. Two of the strikeouts came on 98 mph fastballs, while the third was the result of a 93.6 mph changeup to Randy Arozarena, showcasing his ability to overpower and deceive hitters with his repertoire.

After the game, Luis Gil expressed his gratitude, acknowledging that he needed to thank God for the opportunity to be on the mound and for keeping him healthy. He also recognized the Yankees organization for giving him the chance to showcase his skills. Luis Gil emphasized the importance of staying focused and putting in the work to continue his success.

“First of all, I gotta thank God for allowing me to be here and keeping me healthy,” the Yankees star said. “Second of all, to the organization for giving me this opportunity to be here. Now it’s [about] keeping the focus and keep working.” 

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