TAMPA — Friday, the Yankees got to watch as the Rays raised their AL East division and AL championship banners at Tropicana Field. Saturday, they got reminded again why those flags aren’t hanging in the Bronx.
Domingo German couldn’t get past the fourth inning and the Yankees bats were silent as the Rays shut them out 4-0 at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees (3-5) have now lost three straight games. The Rays (4-4) have won five straight regular season series against the Yankees, dating back to Sept. 24, 2019. Of course, the Rays beat the Yankees last October in the American League Division Series as well.
Saturday was the first time the Yankees were shutout this season. It was the first time they were blanked by a division rival since losing to the Rays 1-0 on Aug. 7, 2020. During the three-game losing streak, the Yankees have scored a total of three runs and have stranded 18 runners. Saturday they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.
The Rays shut them out despite the fact starter Chris Archer had to leave with one out in the fourth inning. The right-hander was diagnosed with the ominous sounding, “right lateral forearm tightness.”
This was the first loss German suffered at the hands of the Rays in his career.
German, who did not get into the fourth in his first start of the season, could only get through it Saturday. The righty gave up four earned runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.
After missing the 2019 playoffs and all of the 2020 season while serving an 81-game suspension under the MLB/MLBPA joint domestic violence policy, the Yankees were pleasantly surprised this spring by what they saw. German looked dominant in March and Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he was stunned there was “no rust.”
In April, however, that rust started to show through the early shine.
Unfortunately for German, the home run ball is still hurting him. He gave up long shots to Austin Meadows, the first runs the Yankees pitchers have allowed in the first inning this season, and Randy Arozarena on Saturday. He also gave up two homers in his first start of the season.
This isn’t a new issue for him.
In 2019, German’s breakout season, he gave up 30 home runs in 27 appearances. In fact, he has given up at least one homer in 12 straight starts, dating back to July 18, 2019.
He also has carried his habit of struggling on the road over to this new season. In 30 starts outside of Yankees Stadium, German is 10-7 with a 5.68 ERA.