Making his Major League debut, Jonathan Loaisiga led a stellar day on the mound for the Yanks as they shutout the Rays, 5-0, in the Bronx. >> Box score
Things to know about tonight's game
1) Loaisiga wanted to make a good first impression in his major league debut on the mound, and he did that and more in the win. The 23-year-old threw five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. He had a few bumps, including a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth. But he battled through all of them and showed tremendous promise. If Tanaka is skipped yet again, Loaisiga certainly made his case for another big league start.
2) Didi Gregorius got the Yankees on the board first after launching his 14th homer of the season into the second deck in right field. In his last eight at-bats, Gregorius has three homers. He is slowly making his way back from a horrific May slump, and his recent outings have shown promise.
3) Gary Sanchez has been mired in a slump -- two hits in his last 26 at-bats to be exact. But he came through with a much-needed hit in the bottom of the eighth, and one that solidified the Yankees' win. With the bases loaded, he went to the opposite field, roping a double that cleared the bases. Hopefully this will translate into something more for the slugging catcher that the Yankees would like to see return to his old self.
4) After Loaisiga came out, the Yankees' bullpen continued its dominance with almost perfect pitching. Between Jonathan Holder, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Adam Warren, only one hit came from a Rays batter over four innings. They also totaled four strikeouts as well.
The Yankees have a reputation of having a deep farm system. Tonight's win provided more evidence to the sentiment.
Loaisiga had thrown all of 25 innings at Double-A this year (career), yet there he was Friday on the Yankee Stadium mound making his major league debut. The righty didn't look the least bit overwhelmed - including squashing a bases loaded situation - shutting down the Rays in five innings of impressive work.
Loaisiga came into the game with a 54-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio in the minors, but his nerves might have gotten to him on occasion as he allowed four free passes tonight. He has a compact, repeatable delivery, one which seems to allow him to be in and around the strike zone fairly often.
Loaisiga generated 17 swings and misses (he had 10 through the first two innings), and his effort seemingly ensures another turn in the rotation.
Highlights from Thursday's game...
The Yankees continue their series with the Rays with the team's ace, Luis Severino, facing off against Ryne Stanek on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.