Gleyber Torres error, bullpen struggles squander dominant Domingo German start in Yankees loss to Cubs – The Denver Post



Domingo German was nearly unhittable once again Sunday, but a critical Gleyber Torres error and uncharacteristic bullpen struggles cost the Yankees in a 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs to end the season’s first half.

Eleven days after he hurled the 24th perfect game in MLB history, German only surrendered one hit across 6+ innings and left with the Yankees leading 4-1. But Torres booted a potential inning-ending double-play ball at second base that extended a Chicago 7th-inning rally, and the Cubs took the lead for good in the following frame.

German had only thrown 74 pitches when manager Aaron Boone removed him after he issued a walk to lead off the 7th. Ian Hamilton entered in relief, recording an out before allowing a single to Cody Bellinger.

Then came the Torres error on a Christopher Morel ground ball, loading the bases with the Yankees clinging to their three-run lead.

Boone turned to Tommy Kahnle, who retired Jared Young on a run-scoring groundout. Kahnle then served up a two-out, two-run single to pinch hitter Yan Gomes that tied the game, 4-4. All three Cubs runs in the 7th inning were unearned.

“I just felt like it was time [to take German out] and we were lined up there,” Boone said after the game. “Understandable to question the decision. … Reality is, Hamilton came in and got a pop up and a double-play ball, and then we’re handing the ball to Tommy and [Clay] Holmes. But fair question. Domingo obviously threw great.”

The Yankees’ relief issues continued in the 8th, when Ron Marinaccio failed to record an out. He left with the bases loaded, and Holmes allowed two runs to score on a Seiya Suzuki sacrifice fly and a wild pitch. The Cubs added a ninth-inning run against Nick Ramirez.

The error was Torres’ ninth of the season to lead all MLB second baseman.

“I know Morel is a really fast runner, so I tried to rush … and I missed the ball,” Torres said. “I made that mistake and I think that cost the game.”

German, 30, began with four hitless innings, energizing a Yankee Stadium crowd that gave him an ovation as he warmed up and grew louder with each out. He faced the minimum 12 batters through four frames, erasing a second-inning walk to Bellinger with a Morel double play.

Suzuki broke up the no-hitter — and the shutout — with a solo home run that barely cleared the left field wall to lead off the fifth inning. German struck out nine, walked three and was charged with two runs, only one of which was earned.

The start was German’s second since he retired all 27 batters against the Oakland A’s on June 28. That historic outing at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum marked the fourth perfect game ever by a Yankee and the first since David Cone’s in 1999.

Boone said German was “a little bit” fatigued in his next start, when he allowed nine hits in 4.1 innings against Baltimore last week, and saw an opportunity Sunday to take him out on a high note.

German, who was aware he hadn’t allowed a hit through four innings Sunday, said he felt OK to pitch deeper into the game, but added, “At the end of the day, it comes down to a decision, and Boone making a decision, and he has the knowledge to do so.”

The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead Sunday on a first-inning RBI double by Anthony Rizzo, who played 10 seasons with Chicago. Rizzo slugged 242 home runs with the Cubs and played a central role in their curse-breaking 2016 World Series championship before his trade to New York in 2021.

New York added three more runs against veteran Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks with back-to-back home runs by Anthony Volpe and Kyle Higashioka in the 6th inning. Volpe’s two-run blast was the 13th homer of his rookie season.

The Bronx Bombers’ bats couldn’t break through in the late innings, however. Their best scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the 7th, when Billy McKinney flew out to the left field warning track with two runners on.

An overcast sky loomed over most of Sunday’s game, and a brief downpour led to a 23-minute rain delay during the 8th inning.

The Yankees also dropped Friday’s series opener against Chicago, 3-0, in what was the Cub’s first-ever win in the Bronx. Cubs starter Jameson Taillon, who pitched the previous two seasons with the Yankees, dominated his old club that night, allowing one hit over eight scoreless innings.

New York rebounded Saturday afternoon with a tidy 6-3 victory headlined by two Giancarlo Stanton home runs and another strong start by Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ lone All-Star pitcher.

The Yankees enter the All-Star break with a 49-42 record, good for fourth place in the AL East and a game out of the third and final AL Wild Card spot. They are eight games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays, who began July with seven consecutive losses before winning Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.

Aaron Judge, Stanton, Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino are among the stars who have missed significant time for the Yankees this season. Boone remains confident his team can make a second-half run.

“Even though it’s been a grind and a struggle at times, we also know we’re really good,” Boone said. “We have a chance to have a special team.”



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