Domingo German versus Michael Pineda is a battle of two pitchers who both have good stuff. There were plenty of pitches, innings, and games in Pineda’s career where you completely understood why the Yankees persisted with him. A combination of inconsistency and a Tommy John surgery eventually necessitated that the team move on.
In some ways, German’s rotation stint last year was Pineda-like. He was inconsistent, but there were some good flashes in there. A year later, it’s clear why they stuck with him and gave him another shot. It’s also clear why the Yankees moved on from Pineda.
German gave the Yankees 6.2 strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits and three walks. There were also plenty of swings and misses once again, as he struck out seven. On the other side, the Yankees tagged Pineda for four runs in five innings. That proved the difference in the final score, as the Yankees took the series finale 4-1.
The scoring started in the second, where Pineda was on the verge of getting off the hook after loading the bases. With two outs in the inning, DJ LeMahieu grounded one up the middle. Jorge Polanco made a pretty good effort to get to the ball, but did a little bit too much after that. His throw to first was wild and well off the mark, as it bounced past the first baseman. It was ruled a hit with an error on the throw, and it gave the Yankees an early two-run lead.
German mostly cruised through the first few innings, but he ran into some trouble in the fourth. He got two quick outs to start the inning, but then allowed a single to Eddie Rosario and walked C.J. Cron. The Twins were able to push one run across on a Marwin Gonzalez single that scored Rosario. German held them to just that, keeping the lead intact.
The Yankees, however, got that run back and more in the very next half-inning. With two outs and Gio Urshela on first, Mike Tauchman took a Pineda pitch over the right field wall, extending the lead back out to three runs. Pineda giving up a home run to turn an okay outing into a bad one is a movie we’ve seen before.
All throughout that, German kept trucking along, besides that fourth inning blip. In the seventh, he allowed a leadoff single but bounced back with two straight outs. However, he then walked Byron Buxton and with the top of the Twins’ lineup now due up, Aaron Boone went to the bullpen. Tommy Kahnle came in and struck out Max Kepler to end that threat.
As the rain started to pick up, the eighth inning was a little sloppy for the Yankees. Adam Ottavino got two outs, but also put two on via a walk and a hit by pitch. That caused Boone to go back to the bullpen and bring in Aroldis Chapman. It took seven pitches, including a wild one which moved both runners in scoring position, but Chapman eventually finished off the inning.
After another rainy, sloppy start to the bottom of the eighth which included a walk, a wild pitch, and a passed ball, the tarp was finally brought on. The rain never let up, and the game was eventually called after about an hour-long delay.
With players still seemingly going down with injuries consistently, the Yankees have needed players to step it up. Domingo German has done that, and again showed how crucial he’s been to this good run.