by: Victor Suarez
New York Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán had one of the worst stretches of his career in his last start before throwing a perfect game. He was booed off the mound after giving up 10 runs in 3.1 innings against the Seattle Mariners. But on Wednesday, Germán threw the 24th perfect game in MLB history in an 11-0 Yankees win over the Oakland Athletics. He struck out nine batters and threw 99 pitches in nine innings. The perfect game snapped an 11-year drought since the last one was thrown by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners in 2012. Germán was helped by some defensive plays, but he mostly dominated the Athletics with his curveball. He threw it 51 times out of his 99 pitches, and it resulted in eight groundouts, nine strikeouts, and 10 outs through the air. The biggest threat to Germán’s perfect game came in the eighth inning when Jonah Bride had a three-ball, one-strike count. But Germán struck him out with a curveball. Germán finished the game by getting Esteury Ruiz to ground out to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who threw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to seal the perfect game. After the game, Germán revealed that he had pitched the perfect game only two days after his uncle died. He dedicated the accomplishment to his late family member. Germán’s perfect game was a surprise to many, given his recent struggles. But it is a reminder that perfect games can come from anywhere.
- Germán’s perfect game was the fourth in Yankees history, joining Don Larsen, David Wells, and David Cone.
- The Athletics were the worst team in baseball at the time of Germán’s perfect game. They had a record of 26-50.
- Germán’s perfect game was the first in MLB history to be thrown in front of a crowd of less than 15,000 fans.
- Germán’s perfect game was the first in MLB history to be thrown by a pitcher who had been suspended for using a sticky substance on his pitching hand.