Aaron Boone explains pulling dominant Domingo German in Yankees loss
Domingo German was cruising through the Cleveland Guardians lineup Monday night, allowing just two base runners through eight innings on an uber-efficient 82 pitches.
The Yankees’ starter had retired 13-straight batters when he allowed a Steven Kwan single with one–out in the top of the 9th and manager Aaron Boone decided to go to the bullpen and Clay Holmes to preserve the 2-0 lead.
“Yeah, I just thought it was the right decision to do that there,” Boone said after the bullpen allowed Cleveland to score three runs and steal a 3-2 win.
“Obviously it didn’t work, so that falls on me,” he said. “Domingo was great, but I wasn’t gonna let him go back around there with the tying runs coming to the plate.”
Boone added that the Yankees felt German’s fastball velocity was a little down in the latter innings, but “thought he was really sharp” in the 7th and 8th and was good to go back out to try and close out the game.
But in pulling his starter, Boone felt it was important to get German the win and, with only a slim lead, his susceptibility to home runs factored into the decision.
"The longballs been in play and bit him a little bit at times, and I just didn't want him to be in a situation where he wasn't gonna do anything but win that game," Boone said. “That felt like it was the right decision to do in the moment."
German wanted the opportunity to close the game but understood Boone's decision.
"Of course, you want the opportunity to finish a game," German said through an interpreter, "but at the same time you understand that decision that our manager makes. I'm never going to disagree when he comes out."
Boone said Cleveland's Amed Rosario was a matchup set up for Holmes. And the reliever got a grounder, but he couldn’t field it cleanly and the error put the tying run at first.
“It’s a play I need to make and should’ve made,” Holmes said after the game
“Bottom line I just need to be better,” he added. “It’s a situation there where I just need to get a ground ball and just make a pitch. I didn’t get the job done.”
Holmes, who allowed all three batters he faced to reach, was chased after back-to-back hits, the second a game-tying single. A strikeout sandwiched by a pair of walks from Wandy Peralta pushed across the game-deciding run.
For the Yankees, it was their fourth-straight defeat, and at 15-15 are now all alone in last place in the AL East.
“There’s gonna be tough losses, great wins,” Boone said. “The fact that we didn’t finish it off, that’s a difficult one. We gotta turn the page and get ready for tomorrow.”