Domingo’s German was not perfect, but he was almost unplayable.
Let’s call it “one-hittable”.
In his second start since throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history, German allowed one hit and three walks in six innings, but was shown a pass after the Yankees’ defense and bullpen exploded in a 7–4 loss to the Cubs. There was nothing to do. An otherwise disappointing Sunday would end the first half of the season.
The German faced the fewest number of batters in four innings—due to a walk-erasing double play—and was about halfway to becoming the sixth pitcher with two no-hitters as the fifth season began.
“I knew what was happening,” the German said through a translator, “but you have to stay focused on what you’re doing out there and not lose your rhythm.”
Seiya Suzuki quickly ended thoughts of history with a leadoff home run, tying the score at 1–1, but the German was unfazed by going back to his aggressive approach.
“Hitters attack from the start, especially on the first pitch, moving [in the count] Quickly,” said the German. “using secondary [pitches] and detail [the strike zone] Today was important in some situations.
The Yankees were leading 4–1 in the seventh but German did not get a chance to match Suzuki.
Manager Aaron Boone controversially pulled German after he issued a leadoff walk on his 74th pitch, forcing Suzuki back into the box.
“I just felt like now is the time and we’re standing in line [with top relievers] There,” Boone said. “It’s understandable to question the decision, but Domingo played brilliantly – last time he was a bit tired – obviously he threw the ball brilliantly. I wanted to get him out there strongly heading into the half ”
The German has thrown at least 80 pitches in 11 of his last 13 starts, including 86 pitches during the rotation the last time he threw a completion in an all-around loss by the Orioles.
He hadn’t thrown less than 80 since April 15 while pitching more than 3 ¹/₃ innings, so yeah, he figured he had more in the tank.
“Of course,” said the German. “I am healthy and ready to pitch in games like this. It’s up to Boon to make the decision.”
The German walked off the mound and the fans loudly applauded – still applauding the perfect play on the road – and pointed to his family in the stands.
The German said, “It feels great when you get such positive feedback from the fans,” and the respect is mutual.
The good feelings vanished when the bullpen promptly gave up three unearned runs to tie the score before the seventh inning, and three more in the final two innings.