A Beautiful Win. NY 3 Tampa 2

It promised to be a pitchers’ duel going in — with Tampa starting their top righty Drew Rasmussen and the Yankees countering with Domingo German, who is one of the best pitchers in the American League when his curveball is curving — which it has this season as he has pitched no-hitters and 1-hitters late into games.

And it was a pitcher’s duel.

German spotted Tampa 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning, then he and the Yankee pen shutout the Rays the rest of the way. Rasmussen pitched a shutout into the 6th. The Yankees rallied for 3 runs off the Tampa bullpen in the 8th — the big hit a CLUTCH 2-out, 2 RBI single by Harrison Bader to opposite field.

The game also featured a new closer for the Yanks — Ian Hamilton pitched the 9th — retiring Tampa for the save to give the Yankees the 3-2 win.

On a late Saturday afternoon in Tampa.

A beautiful Spring day for those watching at home in NY; a beautiful win.

“Obviously he’s done a good job for us,” said manager Aaron Boone about Hamilton afterwards. “It was good to see Clay get out there and get through the 8th and get a big double play ball. The thing I liked about Ian — obviously not being in that situation before, he looked the same — aggressive in the strike zone; using his sinker; using his whatever, slombio — nothing changed in light of the circumstance. It was ‘get after it’ and he did a great job.”

1. German Great — Again

Domingo German entered the year as the Yanks’ 6th starter — an insurance starter in case anyone in the starting rotation went down. He immediately entered the rotation as 3 pitchers went down (first Frankie Montas, then Luis Severino, then Carlos Rodon).

GM Brian Cashman mentioned German’s name with confidence in Spring training after Montas went down, but some Yankee fans were non plus-ed.

But it is time for many Yankee fans to realize that Domingo German is not a bad 3rd starter — he went 18-4 4.03 in 2019 — missing the final few weeks after being suspended due to the domestic incident.

This year he started off sketchy but has now thrown down a number of tremendous starts. He had a perfect game into the 6th against Minnesota in April, and a 1-hitter into the 9th in his last start — infamously yanked by Aaron Boone with 1 out in the inning after allowing a 2nd hit.

When German’s curve ball is curving, and just as importantly when he has command of the fastball — he can be wicked.

  1. He started this game off by allowing consecutive singles leading off the bottom of the 1st to Yandy Diaz and Wander Franco — but then got Randy Arozarena to foul out and Brandon Lowe to strikeout. But he yielded a 2-out, 2-RBI double to Manuel Margot and it was 2-0 Rays. Bad times.
  2. German moved on. He allowed a walk and hit by pitch in the 2nd, but got Wander Franco on a fly to end the inning, stranding 2.
  3. German pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, and
  4. German pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 4th.
  5. He got into trouble in the 5th — a leadoff double by Christian Bethancourt, then a walk to Randy Diaz and it was 1st and 2nd nobody out. But German showed moxie — and got a little help from his catcher Kyle Higashioka. Wander Franco grounded into a force at 2nd, and with 1 out — was gunned down trying to steal 2nd. German got Arozarena on a fly to strand the runner at 3rd.

“Man I thought he battled so good,” said Boone about German. “Early on it looked like it might be a struggle, but he just kept buckling down.”

Wandy Peralta relieved German to start the 6th.

German’s line: 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 5 K’s. He lowers his ERA to 4.35 and his WHIP to 0.94.

2. Rasmussen Great

Meanwhile Drew Rasmussen was mowing down the Yankee lineup — using his 88-MPH cutter to great extend early — with his 80-MPH curveball and 95-MPH four-seam fastball to effect.

Rasmussen then moved to an 82-MPH Sweeper the 2nd and 3rd time through the Yankee lineup.

With the Knicks getting KILLED in their game-3 playoff series against Miami — happening at the same time — it was looking like a LONG afternoon for fans of both teams.

But Domingo German was keeping the Yanks close — down 2-0.

Pitcher’s duel.

The Yankees finally got to Rasmussen in the 6th — Anthony Volpe working a 1-out walk, and Gleyber Torres working a 2-out walk. But reliever Ryan Thompson got DJ LeMahieu to groundout for the final out.

3. Bader the Hero Again in Yanks’ 3-Run Rally in 8th

The Yankees finally pounced in the top of the 8th inning — with 1 out Anthony Rizzo singled to right, and then Gleyber Torres met reliever Kevin Kelly with a single to opposite field right. As we tweeted at the time, “Gleyber is getting it done.”

Gleyber’s single seemed to be a momentum changer.

DJ LeMahieu then ripped an RBI double to opposite field JUST INSIDE the line to right.

With 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, the Yanks had a chance to tie the game on a sac fly — but Willy Calhoun popped up to 2nd.

Two outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd — and Harrison Bader stepped up. Just back from injury that has kept him out the entire season until this week — he had just hit a CLUTCH 3-run bomb to tie the game in the 7th the night before.

Bader smacked the first pitch as a soft liner to opposite field right for a CLUTCH, HUGE 2-RBI single — and NY had a 3-2 lead.

4. Yankee Bullpen Gets It Done

Meanwhile the Yankee bullpen allowed some hits but got the job done:

  • Wandy Peralta allowed 2 singles in the 6th but was relieved with 2 outs and one on as Harold Ramirez was thrown out by Higgy trying to steal.
  • Ron Marinaccio got the final out of the 6th, then pitched a shutout 7th (allowing 1 single),
  • Clay Holmes pitched a shutout 8th — allowing a single but getting a double play.

5. Hamilton Closes

And then to the 9th — and a nice surprise for Yankee fans. Suzyn Waldman was giddy in the booth when Ian Hamilton was seen warming up to close the game.

Hamilton used his now famous “slombio” and his sinker to get a fly out then a big strike out of Taylor Walls on a 3-2 pitch, but then allowed a double just down the line by Margot.

But Hamilton got Isaac Paredes on an easy fly to right for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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