Luis Gil’s electric fastball goes past Yankees expectations, ravages Angels

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil is on the mound against the Angels on May 29, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif.
Joe Najarian
Thursday May 30, 2024

Table of Contents

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Yankees hit a mess in the first inning on Wednesday with the manager ejected and Juan Soto called out for bizarre interference play to the dismay of fans. But soon Luis Gil took over and his brilliant outing against the Angels enabled the Yankees to register a win.

Luis Gil delivered a gem, tossing eight innings of two-hit ball. The right-hander was highly efficient, needing just 95 pitches while allowing one run and fanning nine. He didn’t permit a hit until the third and surrendered his lone run on Logan O’Hoppe’s solo homer in the seventh. Luis Gil mixed a lively four-seam fastball touching 98 mph with an effective changeup and slider.

The 25-year-old retired 10 straight at one point and didn’t issue a walk until the seventh. His previous longest outing was 6.1 innings, making Wednesday’s performance a new personal best as the Yankees overcame the early chaos.

Luis Gil was a model of efficiency, needing just 56 pitches through four innings, 66 through five, and 70 after a four-pitch sixth against the Angels. The Yankees pitcher’s most dominant frame was the fourth when he struck out the side – Willie Calhoun on a 97 mph fastball, Logan O’Hoppe swinging at 98, and Joe Adell whiffing on a slider. Alex Verdugo’s eighth homer gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in that inning.

O’Hoppe took Gil deep in the seventh with a solo shot on a 0-1 changeup to right-center, cutting New York’s lead to 2-1. But the right-hander responded by fanning Adell on a 98 mph heater and inducing a groundout from Mickey Moniak.

Displaying excellent command, Luis Gil baffled the Angels by mixing a lively four-seam fastball ranging from 94-98 mph with well-placed changeups and sliders. The right-hander limited Los Angeles to just a third-inning single and a solo homer in the sixth while racking up nine strikeouts against two walks in an efficient 95-pitch outing.

Prior to Wednesday, Luis Gil’s longest start had been 6.1 innings, which he had accomplished twice previously. But the 25-year-old took his game to new heights, tossing a career-high eight frames to lift the Yankees to a 2-1 victory in front of 34,313 fans at Angel Stadium.

Though the Yankees’ offense was limited, Luis Gil dominated by allowing just one run on two hits over eight brilliant innings. His stellar performance lowered his season ERA to an impressive 1.99 as New York secured the win despite a lack of run support.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Luis Gil is not 100% surprised

Luis Gil’s spectacular month of May effectively served as his coming-out party after a decent April in which he posted a 4.01 ERA in five starts. Across six outings in May, the rookie right-hander allowed just three runs over 38 2/3 innings, compiling an impressive 0.70 ERA. During this dominant stretch, Luis Gil struck out 44 batters while walking 12, and opponents mustered a mere .109 batting average (14-for-129) against him.

When asked about his stellar performance, Luis Gil acknowledged through an interpreter that while not 100% surprised, it took a lot of dedication and hard work to reach this level. He said the ability to command his pitches was a key factor behind the positive results.

“Am I fully 100 percent surprised? I’m not,” he said using an interpreter. “The reason why is it took a lot of dedication and a lot of work to get here. That’s something I really wanted to do, to put myself in the best position possible coming here. When you’re able to command pitches out there, really good things happen.”

The 25-year-old forced his way into the Yankees’ rotation as Gerrit Cole’s de facto replacement with an overpowering final three starts in spring training. Since then, he has not only thrived in the role but also contributed to the rotation’s collectively outstanding numbers.

With a 1.99 ERA through 11 starts, Luis Gil is making a strong case to start the MLB All-Star Game for the American League in July. His recent success has been a revelation for the Yankees, who acquired him from the Minnesota Twins in a trade in 2018.

Superb Luis Gil goes beyond Yankees’ expectations

Prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was asked to describe rookie right-hander Luis Gil. His succinct response: “Superb.”

However, after Luis Gil’s latest brilliant outing propelled the Yankees to a 2-1 victory, Boone praised the 25-year-old as exceeding expectations. Boone acknowledged that while the organization was always aware of Gil’s talent, predicting such dominance would have been difficult given his recovery from Tommy John surgery and over a year away from baseball. He commended Luis Gil’s maturity and ability to continue improving despite the setback.

“You’d have to say beyond expectations,” the manager said. “We’ve always known his talent. Coming back from Tommy John and having missed over a year of baseball, it would have been hard to predict this. But we’ve also always known about Luis’ talent. Just to see how much [more] mature and better he’s gotten, it’s a good indication of just because you’re hurt now doesn’t mean you can’t get better.”

Teammate Anthony Volpe, who played a key role in the Yankees’ win with a triple and an RBI on a throwing error in the seventh inning, echoed Boone’s sentiments. The shortstop said no one within the clubhouse or organization was truly surprised by Luis Gil’s success, but the level at which he was performing against formidable lineups has left everyone in awe. He added that having the pitcher’s name penciled into the starting lineup provides a boost to the entire team.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil is with Anthony Volpe during the game against the  Angels on May 29, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif.

Volpe revealed that his friends among the Angels, who have faced Gil, described his fastball as the most electric they’ve ever seen.

“I think we’re all just blown away,” he said. “It pumps everyone up when you get the lineup and you see his name at the bottom of it. I’m friendly with a couple of guys on other teams and they’ll say after the games it’s the most electric fastball they’ve ever faced.”

Luis Gil improved his 11-start record to 8-1 with a 1.99 ERA, the fourth-best mark in the American League. In six May starts, he went 6-0 for the Yankees while allowing just three runs over 32.2 innings for a remarkable 0.83 ERA.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!