Yankees’ first back-to-back losses of the season expose their Achilles’ heel

Yankees' Anthony Rizzo and Luis Gil show frustration as they lost to the Blue Jays game in Toronto on April 15, 2024.
Sara Molnick
Tuesday April 16, 2024

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The New York Yankees’ red-hot offense faced a formidable obstacle on Monday night, failing to generate their usual firepower in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Former New York Mets hurler Chris Bassitt stifled the Yankees’ bats over 6⅓ innings, propelling the Blue Jays to a series-opening triumph at Rogers Centre.  

Bassitt’s masterful performance on the mound limited the Yankees to a mere run on just four singles and two walks. He expertly navigated through a lineup that has been one of the most potent in baseball this year. Notably, this marked only the second time this season that an opposing starter managed to go into the seventh inning against the Yankees (12-5), who also saw their first back-to-back losses of the campaign.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone couldn’t help but tip his cap to Bassitt’s dominance. He highlighted the pitcher’s impressive versatility, with a repertoire featuring eight different offerings. Boone particularly commended Bassitt’s ability to improvise and tailor his pitches throughout the game. The Yankees skipper elaborated on the effectiveness of Bassitt’s sinker as a primary weapon, along with his ability to mix in a slow curve, a slider with varying speeds, and a deceptive cut fastball, keeping the Yankees’ hitters off balance. This diverse arsenal proved nearly unhittable, further underscored by Bassitt’s impressive 1.00 ERA in his four career starts against the Yankees, racking up 31 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched.

Oswaldo Cabrera, a young Yankees hitter, echoed Boone’s sentiment, acknowledging the challenge posed by Bassitt. He recognized the pitcher’s vast skillset, noting the difficulty of facing someone with such a wide array of pitches. Cabrera acknowledged their struggle to decipher Bassitt’s arsenal, crediting him as a highly talented pitcher who effectively shut down the Yankees’ offense.

Luis Gil fails to stay in strike zone, Yankees’ offense fail to clic


The New York Yankees’ offense, typically renowned for its explosive power, was held in check by Chris Bassitt on Monday night. Their only significant scoring opportunity came in the second inning when a string of singles from Gleyber Torres, Alex Verdugo, and Oswaldo Cabrera put them ahead 1-0 with one out.  

However, that glimmer of hope quickly dissipated as Bassitt expertly escaped the jam and silenced the Yankees’ bats for the remainder of the game.

Luis Gil, tasked with matching Bassitt’s brilliance, faced a grueling outing. He labored through five innings, requiring a hefty 74 pitches. Command woes plagued him throughout the night, resulting in a career-high seven walks, which directly contributed to two of the three runs he surrendered.

“Definitely wasn’t my night,” Gil admitted after the game, speaking through an interpreter.

Yankees manager Boone suspected a potential issue with Gil’s mechanics, while Gil himself pondered a combination of mechanical issues and occasional instances of overexertion. He revealed plans to meticulously review video footage to identify the root cause of his control problems.

The second inning proved particularly troublesome for Gil. Following Cavan Biggio’s leadoff double, Gil walked three consecutive batters, including former Yankee Isiah Kiner-Falefa. This sequence allowed the Blue Jays to tie the score and then take the lead on a wild pitch.

Yankees' Anthony Rizzo throws his helmet in dejection during the Blue Jays game in Toronto on April 15, 2024.

The third inning saw Bo Bichette single and Alejandro Kirk smash an RBI double, pushing the Toronto lead to 3-1.  

Despite Gil’s struggles, his perseverance in lasting five innings proved critical for the Yankees, especially considering a depleted bullpen. Boone commended Gil’s resilience and acknowledged the value he brings to the team when he eats up innings. Boone also recognized Gil’s strides in developing consistent strike-throwing, emphasizing its importance for his growth. He expressed confidence in Gil’s potential to dominate when he consistently finds the strike zone, despite the challenges faced in this particular game.

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