Bronx, N.Y., May 6, 2018; Yankees 7, Cleveland 4 — The Yankees delighted a few thousand season ticket holders pregame Sunday with a photo day meeting with our beloved players, then treated 40,000 to a crazy game that few are likely to forget any time soon. Cleveland’s Mike Clevenger and pinstriper Domingo German — the latter making his first ever major league start — gave a clinic on dominant pitching that threatened to have us all out on River Avenue a scant two hours after German’s 1:08 first pitch.The Bronx surprised many, finally basking through a warm, pleasant week of weather, with moist air and a cruel, relentless breeze. So although the outcome was very much in doubt from the start, it seemed a good thing that two young pitchers were blowing through both lineups with ease, and with speed. The first three innings were completed in just 42 minutes, four in 56. Through seven innings, Clevinger had allowed two walks and an Aaron Hicks fifth-inning single, while Didi Gregorius had reached on a fourth-inning error; 10 of the 21 outs he recorded were strike outs.
And German was just as good, if not better. With just one four-inning outing under his belt, Domingo was on a strict pitch count, and rightfully so. Both his health, and team wins — the teams that win the most games go to the playoffs, after all — supersede individual marks, but the young righty was removed after having made 83 tosses through six innings, with an intact no hitter. He struck out nine and walked two. His 53/30 strikes/balls ratio was solid, and he coaxed 19 swings and misses leading to the nine punch outs, seven of them swinging.Clevinger, meanwhile, followed a strong Dellin Betances two-strike-out seventh with a 12-pitch frame of his own, and Yankee manager Aaron Boone made the fateful decision — for the second time this year — to trot out his setup man for a second inning. Surviving an 0-2 count leading off on, first on aclose call on a checked swing, then by fouling two off, first baseman Yonder Alonso singled to right field. Consecutive singles followed, and a double, passed ball, and sac fly against Jonathan holder, in for Betances, suddenly turned a scoreless masterpiece into a 4-0 Cleveland lead. With a 100-pitch count, Clevinger started the eighth, but Neil Walker (yet again) and Tyler Austin extended him to 16 pitches with two walks around an out, and Terry Francona brought on closer Cody Allen with one down, with this frame to finish, and yet another to come. Gleyber Torres flied out, but Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge followed with a single, then double, and suddenly we had a 4-3 game. Allen retired Gary Sanchez on a fly to center, but the effort had cost him 24 pitches, and Yankee bats lurked for the coming ninth. Chasen Shreve, who failed to retire any of four batters Friday night, delivered a one-two-three top of the ninth, and eight pitches into the bottom half, Hicks and Walker doubled for the tie, and Allen, as out of his element as Betances had been an inning earlier, departed in favor of veteran righty Dan Otero. One out an intentional walk later, Torres fould off two pitches around ball one, then watched two go by with Tge poise of an old timer. It was clear that pitch No. Six had won the game off the bat, but we had to wait for his bomb to clear the Yankee bullpen wall in right center to soak in that the youngest and newest of Yankees had just delivered his second three-run home run in three days, 7-4 Yankees.