Perfection for Yankees’ Domingo German

Domingo German of the New York Yankees celebrating his perfect game
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Perfection for Domingo German

On Wednesday, June 28th, 2023, New York Yankees starter Domingo German etched his name into baseball history. German threw the 24th perfect game of all time, going 27 up, 27 down against the Oakland Athletics in an 11-0 Yankees win. This was the first perfect game in the majors since Felix Hernandez did so in August of 2012, nearly 11 years ago. Speaking to reporters after the game, German stated that Hernandez was his favorite pitcher growing up.

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Game Summary

German had it all working, striking out nine batters, and finishing the job with 99 pitches. His curveball held Athletics batters to a remarkable 0-for-18, with all nine strikeouts coming on that pitch. He only had two three-ball counts, one of which came in the eighth inning when he fell behind 3–1 against Jonah Bride. German was able to get the count to 3–2 by dropping in a curveball. The next ball was grounded foul outside of third before Bride ultimately grounded to third. While there were no legendary defensive plays needed to save this perfect game, one play from first baseman Anthony Rizzo stands out above the rest. With one out in the fifth inning, Oakland’s Seth Brown ripped a hard hit ball down the first base line. Rizzo laid out, flipping the ball to German from his knees to retire Brown. When the play occurred, Yankees play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco urged fans to “Mark that one down”.

A Place in History

As far as the Yankees go, this was the fourth perfect game in their illustrious history. German joins David Cone in 1999, David Wells in 1998, and, of course, Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series as the only Yankee pitchers to achieve perfection. The Yankees went on to win the World Series in each of those seasons. As for the Athletics, they had not been no-hit since 1991, the longest streak in the sport and had not had a perfect game thrown against them since 1904. The pitcher in that game? Some guy named Cy Young.

Bouncing Back

What makes German’s effort Wednesday even more improbable was how much he had struggled recently. In his last outing, six days prior, he let up 10 runs, eight earned in 3 1/3 IP against the Seattle Mariners. He allowed four homers in that start. Prior to that, he allowed seven earned runs in two innings against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. If he had allowed seven earned Wednesday, he would have been the first Yankee pitcher to ever allow that many runs in three consecutive starts. Thankfully, he made a different kind of history.

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Evan Kelly

Senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Finance. Covering the Yankees for SportRelay.com

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