Twins’ sticky allegation fails to spoil Domingo German’s near-perfect day

Domingo German is pitching for the New York Yankees against the Twins on Apr 16, 2023.
John Allen
Sunday April 16, 2023

Table of Contents

Domingo German dominated the Twins and came close to pitching a perfect game as the Yankees defeated them 6-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Minnesota attempt to spoil his great day by accusing him of using sticky substances, which resulted in a substance test and a warning to clean his hands, failed to materialize. They couldn’t stop Domingo German from enjoying the finest start of his career, as he got the first 15 batters out, striking 10 out.

Twins blame Domingo German

Domingo German pitched well for six-plus innings and this helped the Yankees beat the Twins. The starter had both length and quality. It was a big improvement considering he had just given up a career-high five walks against the Guardians in his last start a few days ago when he needed an inefficient 87 pitches to get through just three innings.

But against the Twins on Saturday, Domingo German started the game by going 3-1 against Edouard Julien. He, then, threw two changeups to strike out the first batter. He only had to throw one more ball in the first inning to strike out the side.

Domingo German’s start was so good that Twins manager Rocco Baldelli wondered how the Yankees pitcher was able to do so well against the Twins’ starting lineup. After the third inning, crew chief James Hoye admitted that he didn’t find anything sticky on the right-handed pitcher’s glove or glove hand, but he did feel a “tacky” pitching hand. He asked a Domingo German if it was rosin, and the starter said, “Yes.”

After Domingo German pitched three perfect innings, an umpire checked him out as he was leaving the field. It started out as a normal check on the pitcher, but then umpire James Hoye started paying attention to Domingo German’s throwing hand.

Domingo German was checked again when he came out for the fourth inning. Because the second check took so long, the umpires and Germán had a very strange conversation. During the check, both the umpires and the Yankees crowded around German. It looked like Hoye told Germán at one point, “You need to wash your hands.” Even so, Domingo German was still allowed to stay in the race.

Baldelli ran out to see what was going on as he turned toward the mound. Baldelli was kicked out of the game as he extraneously argued against umpires allowing Domingo German to pitch.

Domingo German seemed unfazed by the controversy or the delay and had two more strikeouts in the next two innings, totaling 11 in 6 1/3 innings. His quest for a perfect game continued until it was prevented by Christian Vazquez and Michael Taylor in the sixth. He did, however, get Julien to ground first and Yankees’ nemesis Carlos Correa to fly to right.

Domingo German’s velocity average on each of his pitch types stayed steady into the third inning and beyond. The most noticeable change was an average dip of 107 revolutions per minute on his curveball from before to after, although he still had curves near the top of his spin rate after the fourth inning.

Despite allowing a couple of hits after the second test, Domingo German held the Twins scoreless. With a 4-0 advantage, he was taken from the game in the seventh inning. Through 6⅓ innings, he only allowed three hits and struck out 11. The Yankees eventually won 6-1.

Domingo German of the New York Yankees
Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

Domingo German didn’t violate the rules

Whatever caused the numerous examinations had no effect on Domingo German on the mound. He was flawless in the fourth and fifth innings.

Despite a heated circumstance that seemed to nearly result in his expulsion in the Yankees’ 6-1 victory over the Twins at Yankee Stadium, Domingo German was not found guilty of violating the league’s rule prohibiting foreign substances. At most, he just didn’t follow directions well enough.

When he stepped off the mound in the midst of the third inning, Domingo German had not allowed a base runner and had struck out six of the first nine hitters he had faced. The crew chief, first-base umpire James Hoye, pulled the righty aside to inspect his hands for foreign substances. The Yankees starter’s glove and left hand were cleared. But there was a difficulty.

“His pitching hand,” Hoye told a pool reporter, “it was tacky.”

Domingo German identified it as rosin, a lawful substance. Hoye instructed him to wash his hands between innings to eliminate the excess tackiness. As a result, Hoye sought a second view from umpire D.J. Reyburn, and the crew gathered.

They debated “whether it’s a real sticky foreign substance that impacts the flight of the ball or a tacky that would most likely come from a rosin bag,” according to Hoye.

They eventually determined Domingo German had not breached the regulations.

During the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Domingo German departed the dugout with rosin on his hand. Hoye acknowledged that he suspected German was holding rosin. Hoye said that he instructed the pitcher to wash his hands in order to prevent future problems.

Baldelli clarified that he did not accuse Domingo German of using a prohibited substance on the mound. He said he contested the decision because the Yankees starter was permitted to throw despite refusing to comply with Hoye’s request after the third inning.

German explains innocence

The 30-year-old stated he taps a rosin bag on his way out of the dugout before heading to the mound on a regular basis, which explains the presence of rosin on his hand.

“He felt like it was too sticky, and the comment that he made, the umpire, was that I had not been using the rosin bag here on the mound much,” the pitcher said. “And when I was coming back, it was the same thing that he had mentioned.”

Boone said that rosin may acquire varying degrees of tackiness and did not rule out the possibility that moisture from the air or Domingo German’s perspiration contributed to it.

“It’s just a level that caught (Hoye’s) attention,” Boone said.

Domingo German of the New York Yankees
Paul J. Bereswill

Domingo German claims to have never had a problem with rosin. He did, however, question whether he was going to be ejected.

“When I went back out, the discussion, it was intense,” Domingo German said. “There was a moment there where I felt that maybe things were going to get out of hand, but I was able to explain it and tell them that I have a rosin bag that’s in the area of the dugout where I sit all the time. He was able to talk that over and understand and reason. He was able to listen to what I was saying. He discussed that with the rest of the umpires and they said, ‘OK, fine, go back out there and pitch.’”

The Yankees starter pitched 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits, and struck out a career-high 11 hitters while allowing one run on three hits. After retiring the first 16 hitters he faced, he even had a chance to have a perfect game heading into the sixth inning.

Boone attributed Domingo German’s strong start to his fastball and curveball. German utilized the curveball to induce swing and misses, and the four-seamer and sinker to elude hitters who were expecting his secondary offerings.

“I’ve been a pitcher that is able to throw strikes,” Domingo German said. “Today, that’s what I was doing. The opposing manager felt different, I guess, but that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career.”

“I’ve been a pitcher that has been able to throw strikes. Today, that’s what I was doing. I know you feel different if you’re the opposing manager, but that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ve done in my career.”

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!