For seven innings in one of the most important games of the Yankees’ 2021 season, Domingo German wasn’t just good — he was un-hittable. And the Yankees and their fans were dreaming not just of a second no-hitter this season, but also a momentum-building series split against the arch-rival Boston Red Sox.
But both dreams were suddenly dashed in a nightmarish bottom of the eighth inning at Fenway Park. The Red Sox knocked German out, then battered the Bombers’ bullpen, scoring five runs to pull out a 5-4 victory — taking three out of four from the Yankees, and dealing a real body blow to the Pinstripes’ postseason hopes.
It all came crashing down for the Yankees after a masterful start by German, who delivered one of the best pitching performances for the Bronx Bombers this year — striking out 10 batters over seven shutout innings without giving up a hit.
Entering the bottom of the eighth, it seemed that German — even with his pitch count at 90 — might just go the distance and deliver the Yankees their second no-hitter of the season. But Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo dashed that dream with a leadoff double.
Yankees skipper Aaron Boone quickly pulled German and left the game to the bullpen. Things immediately unraveled.
Reliever Jonathan Loisaiga, who was pinned with the loss, gave up a double to right fielder Hunter Renfroe that plated Verdugo. The next batter, catcher Christian Vasquez, drove Renfroe with a single. First baseman Franchy Cordero then singled, putting the tying runs on base. Then second baseman Enrique Hernandez doubled to left field, scoring Vasquez and putting Cordero on third.
Boone then went to Zach Britton to face pinch-hitter Kevin Plawecki with the tying and go-ahead runs on second and third with nobody out. Plawecki grounded out to shortstop Gleyber Torres, but it was deep enough for the Red Sox to plate Cordero and even the game at four.
Then shortstop Xander Bogaerts plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right fielder Greg Allen, putting Boston on top to stay.
The brutal eighth inning overshadowed some clutch performances by the Yankee lineup.
Second baseman Rougned Odor drove in two runs, including hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning. Third baseman Gio Urshela returned off the COVID list with an RBI single back in the fourth inning.
Shortstop Gleyber Torres had a double and made a fine, Jeteresque defensive play in the fifth that kept German’s would-be no-hitter in tact.
The Yankees tried to rally back in the top of the ninth, with designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton singling with two out in the frame, putting the tying run on base.
But Odor popped up to third baseman Rafael Devers, cementing a devastating loss for the Yankees that dropped them nine games behind the Red Sox in the American League Eastern Division standings.
The road gets tougher for the Bronx Bombers, who head to Tampa Bay to face the Rays Tuesday night.