BOSTON — For seven innings Sunday, Domingo German made a run at history.
But after he lost his no-hitter on the first batter he faced in the eighth inning, he could only watch from the dugout as the Yankees bullpen flushed his efforts down the drain.
German’s seven-inning gem was spoiled, turning into a brutal 5-4 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park as the Yankees delivered their latest self-inflicted dagger into their season.
“If I can explain it, it’s like you find yourself on top of the world and all of a sudden, you’re free falling and you fall fast,” German said through an interpreter. “It’s tough. It’s so hard to even process what happened, how did it happen. It’s hard to even analyze everything that goes on so quickly. Extremely tough.”
German recorded one of the best starts of his career, throwing seven-plus innings and allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out 10. His 93rd and final pitch of the day was a curveball roped to right field by Alex Verdugo to lead off the eighth inning.
Right fielder Greg Allen, who said after the game the play was “still going through my mind a lot,” got twisted around going back for the ball and could not make a play as it fell on the warning track for a double.
Manager Aaron Boone entered the day not wanting to push German too far past 80 pitches, he said, as the right-hander was still building back up from three relief appearances he made around the All-Star break. German had only thrown 70 pitches in his most recent start, which is why Boone said he gave no consideration to keeping German in the game after giving up his first hit.
“I already knew we were kind of in that danger zone a little bit, so just going hitter-to-hitter at that point,” Boone said. “I was certainly a little uncomfortable where we were, but given as efficient as he was and as well he was pitching, and obviously not having given up a hit yet, I was going to let him go batter-to-batter and continue to have to make a decision.”
Though German said he was not feeling fatigued, Jonathan Loaisiga relieved him and took a blowtorch to his outing.
German, who had never thrown a pitch in the eighth inning of any start in his career, became the first Yankee to throw seven no-hit innings against the Red Sox since Mike Mussina in 2001, per ESPN. But he was left with a sour taste in his mouth.
“I was executing pitches, trying to be as careful as possible while navigating their lineup,” German said. “Unfortunately I couldn’t finish what I really wanted there, to go all the way and have the result be different.”