Yankees takeaways from Monday's 3-2 loss to Guardians, including bullpen blows Domingo German's great start

New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (0) pitches in the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (0) pitches in the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees fall 3-2 to the Cleveland Guardians, as the bullpen spoils a brilliant start from Domingo German to open a three-game set in the Bronx.

Here are the takeaways...

- German was looking to bounce back after allowing ten runs over 12 innings in his last two starts which saw his ERA balloon to 5.54. But with the calendar flipped to May, German got off to a quick start, allowing just one hit – an Amed Rosario single in the first. German worked through four in an efficient 45 pitches (32 strikes) with three strikeouts.

A leadoff walk to Josh Bell in the 5th snapped German’s streak of 10-straight Guardians retired, but he got Mike Zunino looking on a 3-2 curve and Will Brennan to meekly tap out to the mound, stranding Cleveland's second runner of the game at first.

The Cleveland batters did not much else to make German work – including a weak 7th inning when they were retired on just seven pitches. German retired 12 straight after the walk and was through eight on just 82 pitches.

However, after a one-out single from Steven Kwan, manager Aaron Boone popped out of the dugout and summoned Clay Holmes, a move that drew the ire of the 33,000 fans at Yankee Stadium.

And that’s when it all went wrong for New York.

Pitching with a runner on first and one out, Holmes failed to field the ball cleanly and allowed Rosario to reach before a Jose Ramirez single loaded the bases. Holmes then fell behind in the count for the third-straight batter, and Josh Naylor yanked a bouncing ball past a diving Oswald Peraza at second to score two and tie the game.

An error on the throw by Oswaldo Cabrera allowed the runners to reach second and third and Boone summoned Wandy Peralta to replace the ineffective Holmes. Peralta walked Bell before getting Andres Gimenez swinging, but he walked Zunino on a full count to force in a run and give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.

In 29 pitches (14 strikes) the Yankees bullpen duo allowed two hits, two walks, and two runs to give away the game. Holmes blew his seventh save since the start of last season.

Emmanuel Clase needed just 12 pitches to close out the game, getting pinch-hitter Aaron Hicks swinging to seal a horrible loss for New York. At 15-15, the Yankees are in sole possession of last place in the AL East.

- German was brilliant for 8.1 innings allowing one run on just two hits and one walk while getting six strikeouts on 88 pitches (65 strikes). The 30-year-old right-hander had first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced and took a no-decision.

- Playing their fourth-straight game without Aaron Judge who went on the 10-day IL Monday, the Yanks got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd on a 425-foot blast from Jose Trevino. The no-doubter to leftfield exploded off the catcher’s bat at 102.3mph.

The Yanks got something cooking with two outs in the inning when Cal Quantrill walked Antony Rizzo on four pitches and Gleyber Torres dropped a base hit to center. That set up DJ LeMahieu who worked the count full before muscling the ball over the shortstop for his second single of the night to plate Rizzo and put the Yanks up 2-0.

After allowing five to reach through three, Quantrill settled down allowing just one hit over the next four innings. His final line: 7.1 innings, six hits, two runs, one walk, and two strikeouts on 97 pitches.

- Anthony Volpe put a charge to a ball in the 5th inning for a 406-foot flyout to the warning track in center. Volpe’s drive 103.6mph off the bat and would have been a homer in 14 of 30 big league parks. The shortstop also hit a ball hard for a lineout to start the bottom of the 1st. The combo of 103.8mph exit velocity and 10 launch angle carried a .810 expected batting average.

The youngster got an infield hit on a slow roller to third base when Ramirez's low throw couldn’t be scooped at first, but, after a pitching change, he was promptly picked off by Cleveland right-hander Enyel De Los Santos.

- The trio of Peraza, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Cabrera (batting sixth, seventh and eighth in the order) continued their early season struggles. They went a combined 1 for 9 with Peraza getting the lone hit, a 7th-inning single up the middle.


What's next

Gerrit Cole (5-0, 1.11 ERA) will look to continue his hot start to the season for New York as the Yankees look to wash away the sting of a bad loss in the second game of the series. Tanner Bibee (1-0, 1.59 ERA) will get his second start of the season for Cleveland after getting a win over Colorado last week.