Domingo German's Yankees teammates praised him after he improved to 6-1 in Sunday's rain-shortened 4-1 win over the Twins at Yankee Stadium.
"He's been our ace to this point,'' Adam Ottavino said, according to the New York Post's Dan Martin.
German struck out seven batters in 6 2/3 innings, his fifth straight start in which he's thrown at least six innings.
He struck out five of the first eight batters he faced and dominated through the first six innings before he paved way to Tommy Kahnle in the seventh.
"The first thing is confidence," he said through his translator, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "And then to follow that, it's being able to execute pitches in a tough count."
German, who lowered his ERA to 2.35, has emerged as a reliable starting pitcher in a depleted Yankees rotation that has been without Luis Severino since spring training (and will be without him through the All-Star break) and is now without James Paxton for approximately three weeks.
"He's been huge," manager Aaron Boone said of German. "To this point, he's been one of the better pitchers in the game."
How good has German been compared to the competition? His ERA ranks third in the American League and he is now tied for the MLB lead with six wins.
"There's a ton of confidence in the clubhouse," said outfielder Mike Tauchman, who hit a two-run homer in Sunday's win, "that when he's on the mound, we have a really good chance to win that day."