The New York Yankees executed an offensive master-class on Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox. With Chicago taking an early lead, the Yankees blew the game wide open in the 8th inning, scoring seven runs to bring the score to 14-7. In the 9th, Aaron Judge hit a sacrifice fly to right field, driving in Joey Gallo, putting the cherry on top of a 15-run performance.
However, starting pitcher Luis Gil struggled in his first major league action of the season. Over 4.0 innings pitched, he gave up five hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out five batters. The Yankees needed to supplement some fatigue within the starting rotation, so manager Aaron Boone called upon Gil to handle the load.
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Gil finished with a 9.00 ERA but did record a 41.7% ground ball rate. His 42.9% left on-base percentage wasn’t exactly great, and his 41.7% hard-hit rate was also questionable. As for his pitches, he averaged out at 96.8 mph, with his fastball at 87.2 mph with a slider. His velocity is up quite a bit, which is an extremely optimistic sign for the Bombers.
Nonetheless, Boone sent Gil back down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with Gerrit Cole taking the mound on Friday.
Cole is coming off multiple quality performances, having allowed just one earned run over his past three games, and 19 innings pitched. In fact, over that same sample size, he struck out 25 batters and walked just four.
This season, Cole hosts a 2.67 ERA, 10.98 strikeouts per nine, and 88.4% left on base rate. His hard-hit percentage is up to 40.8%, a bit higher than his 38.6% number from last year, but his barrel percentage allowed has dropped to 6.6% from 9.8% in 2021.
Overall, Cole has a few differing metrics, specifically his first-pitch strike percentage. That number is down about 14% this season, which is odd considering Cole loves to test batters early in the count. In fact, his first-pitch strike percentage is the lowest it’s been in his entire career at 54.4%. Cole has also incorporated a few different pitches into the mix, including a cutter, which he’s thrown 12.2% of the time, taking a bit of action away from his curveball and changeup.
Nonetheless, the Yankees have another favorable matchup against Chicago on Friday with Vince Velasquez on the mound opposite Cole. Velasquez has a 3.97 ERA this season over 22.2 innings, giving up 22 hits and striking out 21 batters.