Domingo German’s inconsistency threatens Yankees’ playoff ambitions

Yankees' Domingo German starts the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium on July 25, 2023.

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Tuesday’s performance dealt a blow to Domingo German‘s mission of securing his spot in the rotation. However, the biggest worry is that it came at a time when the Yankees are struggling to overcome one of the worst moments in their history and get into playoffs.

The Yankees were expecting Domingo German to remain steady and perform consistently after his perfect game in Oakland. Even before Tuesday’s game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated that he had no intentions of trying a six-man rotation upon Nestor Cortes’ return.

However, In a disappointing start to the Subway Series for the Yankees and their pitcher, German, who was once perfect, had a far-from-perfect outing in a 9-3 loss to the Mets at Yankee Stadium.

Domingo German betrays Yankees’ trust

Domingo German endured a tough outing, giving up six runs in six innings. He faced trouble from both softly hit balls that found open spaces and three powerful home runs that cleared the outfield wall.

Domingo German was close to navigating through Brandon Nimmo’s leadoff double in the first inning unscathed, but with two outs, Pete Alonso managed to drop a perfectly placed bloop single into shallow left-center, finding the gap between Billy McKinney and Harrison Bader. This hit granted the Mets the lead, and they maintained it throughout the game.

In the third inning, Domingo German surrendered three additional runs, once more encountering a mix of hard and soft contact. After quickly retiring two batters, Francisco Lindor hit a bloop to left field, where McKinney had an opportunity to make the catch, but it slipped through his grasp.

The left fielder rushed in, slid, and couldn’t make the catch. The Mets took advantage of the opportunity.

Following Domingo German’s walk to Jeff McNeil, Alonso crushed an 0-2 pitch over the left-field fence, extending the Mets’ lead to 4-0. He attributed the mistake to the pitch’s location, as the changeup was intended to be away but ended up inside.

The manager attributed the pitch selection as the cause of the home run.

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The 30-year-old pitcher has given up 20 home runs this season, placing him in a tie for the 11th-highest number in baseball. His performance remains a source of frustration as his pitches oscillate between being unhittable and too hittable.

In a couple of mid-June starts, Domingo German surrendered 17 runs. Following those outings, he rebounded impressively with a remarkable perfect game against Oakland on June 28th.

Since then, his performance has been largely underwhelming, but his biggest disappointment came in the game against the Mets. Domingo German maintained his ability to elude Mets batters, racking up nine strikeouts, but he did concede seven hits and one walk. It’s worth noting that not every hit can be entirely blamed on him.

German is likely to lose his place in the Yankees rotation

In the upcoming weeks, Nestor Cortes’ return might lead to someone losing their spot in the rotation, and if he continues to struggle against opposing offenses, he could be the one affected. Domingo German mentioned that he hasn’t given any thought to Cortes’ future return and its potential impact on the rotation.

German stated through interpreter Marlon Abreu that he is not thinking about it at all and prefers to focus on what he can control.

Nestor Cortes is still in the process of rehabbing and needs a few more outings before being considered for a return to the majors. This gives Domingo German a few additional opportunities to demonstrate his worth as a starter.

Boone expressed that he didn’t think the 0-2 changeup to Alonso was the right pitch in that situation. He acknowledged being content with Domingo German’s stuff as he induced 18 whiffs, but he wasn’t as satisfied with the outcomes.

In the sixth inning, the Mets started with consecutive home runs off Domingo German, with Alonso smashing a four-seamer and Vogelbach demolishing a German curveball. His outing ended after the inning, and it’s conceivable that he might only have a few more starts left as a starter.

Domingo German is in competition with Luis Severino, who has shown improvement in his last two outings following a period of challenges, and Clarke Schmidt, who has been performing well but may soon approach an innings restriction.

As the Yankees evaluate their options, it seems likely that someone will have to make way for the returning players, and German’s position in the rotation is becoming less secure.

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