Luis Gil’s ‘nightmare of a start’ rocks rookie season, hands Yankees defeat

New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone as he leaves during the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Thursday, June 20, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

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Rookie pitcher Luis Gil had a tough outing for the New York Yankees on Thursday, struggling against the Baltimore Orioles. His performance was unusually poor, lasting just 1.1 innings and requiring 47 pitches cementing a 5-17 home loss.

The young pitcher’s stat line was rough: eight hits, seven runs, two walks, and one home run allowed. His control issues were evident as Luis Gil hit a batter with the bases loaded, forcing in a run. In his brief stint, he managed only one strikeout.

The game got off to a rocky start when Juan Soto misplayed a ball in right field, resulting in a leadoff double for Orioles star Gunnar Henderson. While Luis Gil limited the first-inning damage to a single run, he unraveled in the second inning, surrendering six runs before being pulled after recording just one out.

Despite this setback, Luis Gil’s rookie season has been largely impressive. Baseball analysts note that challenging outings can happen to any pitcher, particularly against potent offensive teams like the Orioles. While this performance was concerning, it is seen as an anomaly in his otherwise promising season.

Luis Gil’s meltdown throws Yankees into disarray

Luis Gil in action between yankees vs. orioles, on june 20, 2024
Talkin’ Yanks

In a surprising twist, New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil faced a disastrous start against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, a stark contrast to his otherwise impressive season. Under the sweltering heat at Yankee Stadium, the game quickly turned into a lopsided contest.

The Orioles dominated Luis Gil having given up seven runs on eight hits in a career-worst performance. His ERA spiked from 2.03 to 2.77, with his 47-pitch outing also marred by two walks and a hit batter, highlighting his control issues.

The final score, 17-5 in favor of Baltimore, underscored the Yankees’ struggles throughout the game. Despite the setback, the Yankees clung to a slim half-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East, with a record of 51-26 compared to Baltimore’s 49-25.

Aaron Judge‘s return to the lineup after a recent hand injury provided a silver lining for New York. He smashed his 27th home run of the season and spoke about the competitive race with the Orioles expected to continue through September. Judge stressed the importance of the Yankees focusing on their performance, particularly in tightening up their defense.

”It’s gonna be back and forth all the way to September, that’s for sure,” said Aaron Judge, who returned to the lineup after getting hit by a pitch on Tuesday and clubbed his 27th home run of the year. “I think we’re looking forward to having those battles back and forth. But what it really ultimately comes down to is us just taking care of ourselves. We go out there and play baseball the way we’re supposed to, clean it up on defense a little bit … we’ll take care of it and be where we want to be.”

Baltimore’s victory gave them an edge in the season series between the two top American League teams. Luis Gil’s uncharacteristic performance was notable, as no other team had hit him this hard all year, reflecting the fierce competition in the AL East.

Luis Gil experienced a dramatic reversal of fortunes against the Orioles. He, who had pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Baltimore on May 1, allowed seven runs in this outing, matching his total runs conceded in his previous nine starts combined.

The rookie expressed regret for his performance, acknowledging that he had let the team down. Despite the rough game, he remained confident in his abilities and those of his teammates, asserting their capacity to rebound from this setback.

“I felt like I let the team down today,” Luis Gil, who tossed 6 ¹/₃ scoreless innings against the Orioles on May 1, said through an interpreter. “But we definitely have more games ahead of us and I’m sure we’re going to be able to turn the page on this one and improve. I believe in myself and I definitely believe in my teammates.”

Boone pulled Luis Gil with one out in the second inning, with the Orioles leading 7-0 and the bases loaded. Reliever Michael Tonkin prevented further runs charged to Gil, but the Orioles continued their offensive onslaught, finishing the game with 19 hits.

This game marked the first time in 77 games this season that a Yankees starter failed to complete at least four innings, ending the longest single-season streak in franchise history.

Luis Gil saw his impressive streak of nine consecutive starts with at least five innings pitched and three or fewer runs allowed abruptly halted against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. The game quickly spiraled out of control for him, beginning with Gunnar Henderson’s leadoff double over Juan Soto’s head.

Despite limiting the damage to one run in the first inning, Luis Gil’s struggles intensified in the second. The pivotal moment came when Ryan Mountcastle hit a three-run double down the left-field line, effectively ending Gil’s outing.

Boone acknowledged the Orioles’ dominance in their encounters so far but emphasized the long season ahead. He viewed the challenging situation as a potential growth opportunity for the team, despite the disappointment of losing to a close divisional competitor.

The Yankees manager attributed Luis Gil’s poor performance to the Orioles’ aggressive approach against his fastball, which forced him out of the strike zone and led to mistakes over the plate.

The loss improved the Orioles’ record against the Yankees this season to 5-2, with two more series between the division rivals still to come.

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