The New York Yankees had to dig into their minor-league system for a starter against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night after Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19. The Yankees decided upon right-hander Luis Gil, and not only did he deliver a Cole-like performance in a 13-1 blowout victory, but he also made his mark on franchise history in the process.
Gil, only 23 years old, delivered a quality start by holding the Orioles to four hits and a walk over six shutout innings. He punched out six batters and showcased the overpowering fastball that makes him one of the Yankees' top prospects. Gil's heater averaged 95.8 mph on the night and generated nine whiffs on 27 swings. His new slider wasn't as effective in missing lumber (two whiffs on 14 swings), but the Orioles connected for only soft contact against it.
In eight starts at the Triple-A level this season, Gil had compiled a 5.64 ERA and a 1.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Nevertheless, he became the first Yankees pitcher to throw six scoreless innings in their debut since Mike Mussina did it in 2001. Additionally, Gil became the first Yankee to do it in their big-league debut since Sam Militello in 1992, according to ESPN Stats & Info. (The disparity between what Mussina accomplished in his career versus what Militello was able to do suggests there's little predictive value in accomplishing the feat.)
The Yankees offense, by the way, welcomed Gil to the majors with ample run support. New York scorched the Orioles for nine runs on the night. Giancarlo Stanton drove in four of those, including three on his 17th home run of the season.
The Yankees are now 57-49 on the season. Coming into the night, they were three games back of the Oakland Athletics in the race for the American League's second wild card spot.