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PERFECTION: 27 Up, 27 Down for Domingo Germán

Perfection by Domingo Germán - Image Credit: MLB

PERFECTION IN OAKLAND! Nine perfect innings with nine strikeouts on 99 pitches! Domingo Germán joined MLB’s pantheon of perfection on Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum, throwing a perfect game in the Yankees 11-0 win over the Athletics — the 24th perfect game in MLB history, and fourth in Yankees franchise history. 

Perfect Games in Yankees Franchise History

Domingo Germán at Oakland A’s: nine strikeouts (June 28, 2023)

David Cone vs. Montreal Expos: 10 strikeouts (July 18, 1999)

David Wells vs. Minnesota Twins: 11 strikeouts (May 17, 1998)

Don Larsen vs. Brooklyn Dodgers: seven strikeouts (October 8, 1956 – Game 5 of World Series) 

“So exciting, when you think about something very unique in baseball — not many people have an opportunity to pitch a perfect game,” said Germán through a team interpreter in a postgame on-the-field interview. “To accomplish something like this in my career is something I’m going to remember forever.” 

“Be a part of history, so exciting.” 

The 30-year-old right-hander, a native of San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic, became the first Dominican-born pitcher to throw a perfect game in Major League history. Additionally, Germán is the first pitcher to accomplish the feat since Félix Hernández, who went 27 up, 27 down, as a Seattle Mariner on August 15, 2012, against the Tampa Bay Rays. 

About the ninth inning, Germán said: “It was very different. I felt an amount of pressure that I have never felt before. I tried to visualize what I want to execute there. At the same time, I don’t want to miss. So, so much pressure, yet, so rewarding.” 

When he started thinking about perfection: “I would say after the fifth inning. I felt myself in good shape, so I just tried to keep the at-bats that I had throughout the game, and keep executing pitches at that time.” 

Germán is now the third MLB pitcher born outside of the United States to go perfect across nine innings, joining Hernández (Valencia, Venezuela) and Dennis Martínez (Granada, Nicaragua). 

“Growing up he was my idol,” Germán said about ‘King Felix’ Hernandez. “I really looked up to the way he pitched so now to be on that list following him means a lot.” 

Félix Hernández following the 27th out of his perfect game in 2012 – Image Credit: The Seattle Times

On a personal and unfortunate note, Germán’s uncle passed away within the last week, and in tribute, this game was to him. 

“I cried a lot yesterday in the clubhouse,” Germán said. “I had him with me throughout the whole game. I was thinking about him. He would’ve been so happy.” 

Yankees React to Germán’s Perfection 

“For him to go out there and do that, I’m sure it adds to the emotion for him,” Yankees skipper Aaron Boone said. “To see his teammates, how excited they are for him, knowing what he’s going through the last couple of days, I’m just so proud of him. He’s been through so much. This has not been an easy week or time for him.” 

Anthony Rizzo and Yankees celebrate with Domingo Germán following his perfect game in Oakland – Image Credit: MLB

Boone added: “It was just so fun to watch him do that and go to work. We’ve seen him flirt with outings like that overtime — when he gets rolling like that, he’s just so fun to watch at his craft. He’s so good at his command with all of his pitches.” 

“He was fantastic tonight — he deserves all the credit,” Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “I’m just happy for Domingo. He’s had a rough couple of starts and he’s kinda been dragging a little bit. Just for him to do this and to just get back to being himself.” 

“You know, I kind of always thought, out of anyone, he has a really good chance to do something like this. For it to all come together tonight is really amazing.”

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

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