Domingo German’s 2019 season has been something to behold. The slight 24-year-old has emerged as the closest thing to a sure bet for the Yankees and he was extremely impressive again on Tuesday night. While the Yankees’ lineup continued to terrorize the Orioles, German sparkled.
The righthander crafted seven innings of two-run ball as the Yankees pounded Baltimore again, this time, 8-3, before 41,284 at the Stadium. German allowed five hits and a walk, striking out seven in a performance that required just 93 pitches. He has a major league-leading 16 wins against two losses.
The victory gives the Yankees 15 straight wins over the hapless Orioles and matches their longest such streak in a season against one opponent since they won that many against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954.
DJ LeMahieu opened the Yankees’ first with a homer to leftfield, one of 15 hits. Gio Urshela and Austin Romine had three hits apiece, Aaron Judge and Cameron Maybin each drove in two runs and Gary Sanchez had two hits and an RBI.
“Everyone had a hand in this one and it was good to see,” manager Aaron Boone said.
German has meant so much to the Yankees and the club would like to have him pitching as well as he did on Tuesday when the postseason begins. To that end, it’s hard to tell how many more outings like that we will see over the next three-to-four weeks.
German has totaled 120 innings between the big-league club and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last season he threw an aggregate 94 innings between the majors and minors and the year before that he totaled 123 2⁄3 innings. The Yankees have made it clear they want to keep him under a regular-season threshold that they have not yet publicly specified and Boone said it’s “not yet” time to alter his workload.
“We haven’t set any hard limits on him. We haven’t even honestly gotten deep into those conversations,” Boone said. “We’ll probably get to a point where, as we get some guys back, we may alter some things. But we feel he is strong right now and still has a lot left in the tank.”
“I feel really good, really strong,” German said through an interpreter. “I feel healthy. I feel like I can pitch a long time. I just feel like my body is in the right shape and right place to take on however many more innings are to come.”
Boone mentioned as possibilities an opener-style short start, skipping a turn in the rotation or pitching out of the bullpen as ways to keep German viable for the postseason. He added “but those are conversations we’ll have that, frankly, we haven’t dived that deep into yet.”
The Yankees had 10 pitchers in the bullpen Tuesday and a two-man bench, but Boone said it was not about shortening German’s start.
“How his body is responding, tracking how he is throwing the ball and whether it’s matching up [to previous performances],” is what Boone said will go into evaluating German. “How we think he’s bouncing back, how we think he’s holding his lean muscle mass . . . will be important factors.”
What does seem a certainty is he won’t make eight more starts over the last 41 games and go this deep in them.
Maybin had a two-run double in the second. The Yanks scored four in the fourth, with Aaron Judge roping a two-run double, Urshela a run-scoring single and Sanchez a run-scoring double. to make it 7-1.
Sanchez had been in a 1-for-32 skid before the double. Judge was in a 2-for-19 funk before his double and hit a couple other balls hard that went for outs.
“It’s good to get a result, an extra-base hit and couple RBI. Good to see him clip a few balls,” Boone said. “He didn’t have much to show besides the double. But hopefully it’s him starting to get more and more comfortable.”