Yankees Thoughts: Luis Gil Doesn’t Lose

Luis Gil had another ho-hum, six-shutout-innings, one-hit start and the Yankees extended their winning streak to six straight with a 5-1 win over the Twins at the Stadium.

Here are 10 thoughts on the Yankees.

1. At this point, it’s no longer stunning when Luis Gil gives up a run (which is crazy), it’s stunning when he gives up a hit. Gil dominated yet another lineup on Tuesday in the Twins and the Yankees won 5-1. One hit over six shutout innings from the best pitcher in baseball.

“He’s got good stuff,” Rocco Baldelli. “He’s better than most.”

Thanks for the evaluation, Rocco. But Gil isn’t better than most. He’s been better than every starting pitcher in the majors this season.

2. It was Gil’s seventh start in a row with at least six innings pitched and one run or fewer allowed, which is now a Yankees record. It seems like Gil is matching or setting a record every start. His ERA is down to 1.82 on the season with 85 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings and just 30 hits allowed. His 3.9 hits allowed per nine innings is the best in baseball.

“I had to come back from a big injury,” Gil said, “a lot of dedication, a lot of hours to put myself in the situation where I could be here and compete.”

3. On day’s Gil pitches the offense doesn’t have to do much, and in the series opener against the Twins they didn’t do much: three runs on six hits and four walks.

Gleyber Torres got the Yankees on the board in the second by showing he still has power … well, Yankee-Stadium-right-field-porch power when the ball goes off the outfielder’s glove. (Hey, they all count the same!) Torres has been better of late, though that’s not saying much since the bar he set through his first six weeks of the season was as low as bars can be set (he had a .543 OPS through May 11). I think the reason the perception is that he’s still struggling is because of all the non-offense-related issues he has in the field and on the bases. But he has been better.

4. Anthony Rizzo hasn’t been. He’s getting worse. Rizzo had another 0-for against the Twins and is now hitting .236/.296/.354. Add in his shaky defense (both fielding balls and catching throws), his lack of speed and his inability to get on base and there’s nothing redeeming to say about Rizzo’s season. Rizzo has one walk since May 11. He has one double since May 12. He has one home run since May 10.

5. After taking a 1-0 lead in the second on Torres’ home run, the Yankees added two more runs in the third on an Aaron Judge opposite-field double. The 3-0 lead was more than enough, but after Royce Lewis hit a home run in the seventh to cut it to 3-1, Giancarlo Stanton added two insurance runs in the eighth.

Caleb Thielbar got Stanton to awkwardly swing and miss on a first-pitch curveball, so Thielbar went back to that same pitch in the same location on his very next offering and Stanton destroyed it into the second deck in left field.

6. Because of Judge and Juan Soto, Stanton is quietly having a good season … I think? Well, that’s what everyone on YES keeps saying. His OPS is nearly 100 points below his career mark, but his OPS+ suggests he’s 16 percent better than league average. This version of Stanton is the best version Yankees fans have seen since 2021, and before that, you have to go back to his first season with the Yankees in 2018. He’s only hitting .232 and has a .281 on-base percentage, but his 15 home runs, with a lot of them being timely, is carrying the narrative of his year.

7. Stanton, Soto and Judge are the first trio in Yankees history to each hit 15-plus home runs through the first 62 games of a season. Judge is first in the majors with 21. Soto is third with 17. Stanton is fifth with 15. The trio has 53 home runs combined. That’s more home runs than the Blue Jays (52), Rockies (50), Marlins (48), Rays (48), Nationals (48) and White Sox (45).

8. Tommy Kahnle gave up his first earned run of the season on the Lewis home run, but that was the only run the Twins would score. Ian Hamilton pitched a perfect eighth, and after being a disaster for the majority of the season with six scoreless appearances sandwiched around a 16-game run in which he put 34 baserunners on in 17 innings, Hamilton looks to have resolved his issues.

9. After pitching on Saturday and Sunday, Clay Holmes got a second day off and Luke Weaver was called on to close out the game in the ninth. (It wasn’t a save situation, but I think Holmes would have been in even with a four-run lead. Also, no one should be managing based on a made-up statistic.) Weaver pitched a perfect ninth on just 10 pitches to end the game.

10. Tuesday was a relaxed, rather easy win, which is how Gil starts go. Wednesday has the potential to be the same if Carlos Rodon is as good against the Twins as he was three weeks ago (6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR), or if the Yankees offense hits Chris Paddack the way they did in that same game Rodon started (5 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR). Fourteen baserunners in five innings? I’ll sign up for that again.