Whether you think a crew of MLB officials conspired to allow Domingo German to cheat his way through a Saturday matinee — or whether you think something along the lines of excessive rosin was handled a bit awkwardly by the umpiring crew — the fact remains that a lengthy discussion in the fourth inning led to Rocco Baldelli’s ejection, and loomed large over New York’s first win of the series.
Yankee starter Domingo German was cruising, taking a perfect game into the 6th inning, and striking out eleven Twins batters. But ahead of the fourth inning, he was the subject of a long conversation between the full umpiring crew and skipper Aaron Boone.
I’m sure we’ll all be blessed by Jomboy’s patented lip-reading sooner rather than later, but the initial takeaway seemed to be that the umpires had asked German to “wash it off” — “it” being unclear — and that there was enough of an argument on the New York side of things that whatever “it” was, it didn’t warrant an immediate ejection under the scope of MLB’s relatively newfangled Sticky Stuff Statute.
Unwilling to wash his hands of the situation was manager Rocco Baldelli, who was subsequently tossed once German was approved to stay in the ballgame.
It was a messy start to things that dominated the broadcast for the rest of the afternoon. As German continued cruising, the Yankee lineup was feasting on Tyler Mahle, who today became the first 2023 Twin starter not to complete five innings of work. Kyle Higashioka hit a two-run shot to open the scoring in his first at-bat, and Anthony Rizzo added another homer this series in the third. Mahle allowed four runs (two earned) and walked three, taking his second loss of the season.
On the other side of things, German allowed just one run in his outing, that coming in the seventh inning when the Twins got a rally going courtesy of an RBI double (the second two-bagger of the year) by Jose Miranda. Minnesota was on the board in what was then a 4-1 game, and even got the tying run to the plate in Max Kepler — but, fresh off the IL, Kepler bounced into a double-play and it was never close again.
The Twins would allow another two runs in the home seventh; Jovani Moran and Jorge Alcala mopped things up, as Yankee reliever Michael King pitched the final 2.2 innings for the home nine.
Minnesota still clings to a 2-1 series lead, and taking three out of four at Yankee Stadium is still largely possible. Pablo Lopez and Gerrit Cole will finish out the series tomorrow, with the Twins looking to take home a huge result with a series win in the Bronx. We hope to see everyone back on Sunday afternoon, with hands as shiny-clean as can be.
3B Jose Miranda (1-for-3, 2B, RBI)
DH Byron Buxton (0-for-4, 4 K)
SP Tyler Mahle (4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR)
RP Jorge Alcala (2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K)
ROBOT ROLL CALL: Joeyself reminds us to not get too hung up on seemingly-greener pastures.