All eyes were on Domingo German for this one. Six innings of one-run ball later, and German did nothing but instill confidence into the Yankees fanbase once again.
It took one pitch for Jeff McNeil to welcome German back to the majors, but the rest of his 79 pitches dominated. With early production from the Yankees’ lineup in the first inning, German was able to keep the Yankees ahead against veteran Jason Vargas.
Vargas was equally as impressive, but he couldn’t keep the Yankees’ one-two punch from hitting two sharp doubles to begin the bottom of the first. Once he settled down, Vargas served a heavy diet of changeups, keeping the game closer than the Yankees would have liked. With a pitch count of 100 after 5.1 innings pitched, the Bombers were able to knock the soft-tossing southpaw out of the game.
LeMahieu—who was named AL Player of the Month for June and continues to rake in July—started this game off with a double. Judge followed suit with a double of his own, and two outs later, Gleyber Torres brought in Judge with an RBI single. The Mets quickly cut the lead in the bottom half with a McNeil home run on German’s first pitch back from injury making it 2-1.
The scoring was halted until the sixth inning, but a couple of interesting events happened in between. During the top of the forth with runners on first and second, German came up to the plate with the clear intention to bunt. The bunt was placed but not successful, and a double play started by catcher Wilson Ramos to Todd Frazier to Robinson Cano ended the threat.
Fans will plead for a universal designated hitter to avoid poor batting appearances at the highest level of baseball, but the only thing on my mind was German and his health. On his first day back from a hip injury, he had to hustle down the first-base line trying to avoid a double play. Luckily German finished the sprint okay and went right back to pitching.
Secondly, to begin the top of the sixth, Torres found himself battling with a full count against Vargas. Replays have been able to assist umpires get calls right, but there are still a few that cannot be reviewed. Unfortunately for Torres, he struck out on a clear foul ball that hit the dirt right before entering Ramos’ glove. I’m sure fans appreciate that Major League Baseball has implemented replay review, but it’s time they take it a bit further because Torres should have clearly continued his at-bat.
Nevertheless the incorrect call only sparked the Yankees. Didi Gregorius followed Torres’ strikeout with a home run, essentially knocking Vargas out of the game. Gio Urshela, who made multiple great plays at third this game, also produced while in the batter’s box, hitting a home run right after Gregorius. The Yankees did worry as he looked like he was cramping while jogging the bases, but he got back on the diamond and continued to amaze at third. With the Yankees up 4-1, German came out in the bottom of the 6th and ended a great return to the mound.
The Yankees’ offense decided to add one more insurance run starting with another double by LeMahieu. With two outs, Hicks drew a walk, giving Torres another RBI opportunity. Once again, Torres came through with a single to make the lead 5-1.
With a change of events, the Yankees decided to use their opener strategy to close out this game. With German back in the rotation the Yankees must find new roles for Chad Green and Nestor Cortes Jr. right? They apparently like seeing them go one after the other. Green pitched two innings, striking out four and allowing two hits. Cortes Jr. came out in the bottom of the ninth, securing the win and the Subway Series split.