NEW YORK -- Inconsistency has followed Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German throughout his rookie season. It continued Friday night in the Yankees' 7-5 loss in the series opener against the Mets at Yankee Stadium, leading to the right-hander's demotion.German -- who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game --
NEW YORK -- Inconsistency has followed Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German throughout his rookie season. It continued Friday night in the Yankees' 7-5 loss in the series opener against the Mets at Yankee Stadium, leading to the right-hander's demotion.
German -- who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game -- lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. He has lasted less than five innings in three of his four July starts. German had a 6.18 ERA in 13 starts this season, after making his first big league start on May 6.
"It's not what you want, right?" German said through an interpreter. "You want to pitch up here, but at the same time I understand why. I got to go down to Triple-A and work on certain things that I need to improve and help me get back on track."
The Yankees will call up right-hander Luis Cessa when it is time for German's spot in the rotation. Until then, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the team likely will call up another pitcher on Saturday. Cessa pitched for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday, tossing six scoreless innings of two-hit ball, striking out nine, while the Yankees' starter in the Bronx didn't have quite the same outcome.
German quickly put his team in a three-run deficit, allowing RBI doubles to Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista in the first inning. German has had difficulty getting through the first inning all year, posting a 9.00 ERA, allowing 13 runs in 13 appearances in just the first frame this season.
"I think it's mechanical, so it's really led to him struggling with his fastball command and finding that fastball command," Boone said. "I think at one point tonight he was over 2-to-1 strikes to balls, but you could still tell he was struggling to find that fastball command. If you don't have that, you're going to be in trouble."
In the third, Yoenis Cespedes took German deep to left, clanking a 3-0 fastball off the foul pole in his first game back from being on the disabled list. Adam Warren took the ball from German to finish out the fourth before allowing two runs in the fifth on singles by Conforto and Devin Mesoraco.
"Some minor adjustments I need to make in mechanics," German said. "I'm going to go down there, work really hard and try to get back as soon as possible."
The Yankees put on a late charge in the eighth inning, knocking in two runs on a Didi Gregorius double and a Giancarlo Stanton groundout to cut the Mets lead to 6-5, but were unable to complete the comeback when Gary Sanchez struck out with runners on the corners. Neil Walker plated two with a double in the sixth and Stanton lifted sacrifice fly in the third off Mets starter Noah Syndergaard, who permitted just the one run on eight hits through five frames while fanning four batters, including his 500th career strikeout.
"Their pitching staff just made pitches when they had to," said Aaron Judge, who had a three-hit night. "We had quite a few hits. I think every guy in the lineup got a hit, but in the big situations, man, Syndergaard and their bullpen were able to come through and get us out in tough spots."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With the Yankees down one run in the eighth inning, the Mets intentionally walked Aaron Hicks to put runners on the corners and bring Sanchez to the plate. In his first game back from the disabled list, Sanchez had gone 1-for-4 entering the eighth, but he was unable to come up with the big hit, striking out on a 90.7-mph slider from Robert Gsellman.
"You definitely don't feel good about that," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I didn't help my team tonight. I got to put that aside and look toward tomorrow and hopefully if I find myself in a situation like that, I'm able to do the job."
The Yankees left 14 men on base, matching their high for a nine-inning game.
After also dropping the series finale at Citi Field on June 10, the Yankees have lost consecutive games to the Mets for the first time since a six-game losing streak from May 27, 2013, to May 13, 2014. The Yankees are 5-7 against the Mets at Yankee Stadium since the start of 2013.
HE SAID IT
"He's certainly a guy that's more and more in the conversation, but I think they want him to just kind of get finished off down there and fine-tune some things. He's had a very successful season. I think he's gotten better, and I think he's very close to being an option." -- Boone, on whether the Yankees' No. 2 prospect, Justus Sheffield, was in consideration for German's spot in the rotation
Sonny Gray (6-7, 5.46 ERA) will face the Mets on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET in the second game of a Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander is coming off six scoreless innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight for a win in Baltimore. Gray had been hammered for 11 runs over 4 1/3 innings in his previous two starts. Left-hander Steven Matz (4-7, 3.38) will take the mound for the Mets.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.