Yankees Thoughts: Luis Gil Handed Career-Worst Loss

The Yankees suffered their most lopsided loss of the season and it came in the most important game of the season to date.

Here are 10 thoughts on the Yankees.

1. The Yankees couldn’t have been set up better for their three-game series at home against the Orioles. They had Monday completely off. Their elite relievers were well rested after having not been needed on Saturday and Sunday in two losses against the Red Sox. They had the advantage in every starting pitching matchup with Nestor Cortes and his 1.57 ERA going against journeyman Albert Suarez (who hadn’t pitched in the majors in seven years before this season), Gerrit Cole making his season debut against Cade Povich in his third career start and American League Cy Young favorite Luis Gil against Cole Irvin and his weak 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The Yankees wasted all of their advantages and lost two of three to their direct competition for the division.

2. The Yankees held on to win the series opener 4-2, were managed to a 7-6 extra-inning loss in the middle game and then were humiliated in a 17-5 loss in the rubber game.

“They are a good club. We saw that last year,” Aaron Judge said. “They play hard. They play fast.”

3. Gil picked a bad day to have the worst start of his career (1.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). After dominating the Orioles in Baltimore on May 1, Gil couldn’t get out of the second inning on Thursday and provided the Yankees with their first start of less than four innings of the season.

“It happens. That’s baseball,” Judge said. “You are going to have those outings like that.”

4. Gil had been so good overall before being embarrassed by the Orioles, but his disastrous start was kind of foreshadowed in his previous two starts. Two starts ago, the Dodgers tagged Gil for the most runs he allowed since April and it was the first time since April he didn’t complete six innings. Then in his last start, he gave the Yankees five innings of one-run ball, but walked four and put eight on in a grind-it-out effort.

5. The Orioles didn’t sit back and let Gil get ahead to blow them away with his riding fastball or low-‘90s changeup. They swung early in the count and attacked Gil before he could attack them. Gil faced 15 batters and 11 of them reached base.

“Today I missed pitches,” Gil said. “They took advantage of it, but it’s definitely a learning experience.”

6. The inconsistent Yankees offense can’t be trusted, but they have never had a chance on Thursday, considering they trailed 7-0 in the top of the second. Every Orioles starter had a hit in the game. The 4 through 7 hitters each had two hits and the 1 through 3 hitters each had three. The Orioles’ 17 runs were the most against the Yankees in five years.

“They came out swinging early on,” Judge said. “We really couldn’t answer back after that.”

7. Gleyber Torres hit his seventh home run of the season, a meaningless solo shot with the Yankees down seven, and Judge hit his league-leading 27th home run. (I’m glad Judge was healthy enough in the Yankees’ eyes to play on Thursday and hit a home run, but couldn’t have pinch hit 19 hours earlier in a game the Yankees could have won.)

8. The defense was sloppy with three errors, and the bullpen gave up 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings. Newest Yankee Tim Hill showed why the White Sox gave up on him as he allowed a three-run home run in his only inning of work. Caleb Ferguson and Victor Gonzalez provided their latest examples of why the Dodgers were willing to trade them, and Ron Marinaccio, who was good enough to relieve Cole in a tie game the previous day, is no longer good enough to be a Yankee and was sent down after the 12-run loss.

9. The Yankees are 6-7 in their last 13 games, dating back to the first game of the Dodgers series. They are 2-5 against the Orioles with six games left against them (and will need to win five of six to hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them). They are 10-12 against the AL East. Their issues have been glaring over the last two weeks: lack of lineup depth, untrustworthy bullpen, a starting catcher who can’t throw, a pitching staff that can’t hold runners and a manager who continues to be a liability in close games.

10. It’s not going to get any easier. The Yankees were fortunate to get the Orioles’ worst three starters over the last three days, and now they will unfortunately get the Braves’ best three starters over the next three days: Chris Sale, Charlie Morton and Max Fried. The Braves have been playing much better of late (6-1 in their last seven games) after their slide following Ronald Acuna’s season-ending injury. They aren’t playing the way they played for all of last season, but the ability to is still in there (minus Acuna) and they are showing it. The next three days at the Stadium will be another tough three days.