Domingo German’s perfect game against A’s ignites frenzied reactions

Anthony Rizzo, Harrison Bader, and Aaron Judge greet Domingo German after his perfect game against the A's on June 28, 2023, at Oakland.
Inna Zeyger
Thursday June 29, 2023

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Domingo German was destined to inscribe his name in MLB history with a perfect game. Injuries forced the Yankees to have him as their starting pitcher. The Dominican overcome controversy, suspension, boos, and a personal tragedy to showcase his brilliance on Wednesday night, delivering a historic performance that ignited a frenzied reaction both on and off the field and across the Yankees nation.

Domingo German’s flawless outing resulted in the 24th perfect game in major league history, making him the fourth Yankees pitcher to achieve this remarkable feat in their 11-0 victory over the Oakland A’s.

In a remarkable streak, the right-hander’s perfect game marked the first since Felix Hernandez’s masterful performance against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012. While there were three perfect games that season, none had occurred until Domingo German’s sensational display, making it the first no-hitter in the big leagues this year. The starter now joins an exclusive league of four-member Yankees — other three are Don Larsen in 1956, David Wells in 1998, and David Cone in 1999 — to have thrown a perfect game. Larsen’s iconic gem famously took place during Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Yankees starter Domingo German pitched a perfect game against the A's on June 28, 2023, at Oakland.
New York Yankees

Following a couple of challenging starts, Domingo German bounced back in spectacular fashion. Striking out nine of the 27 batters he faced, he showcased his dominance against the struggling Oakland A’s, who currently possess the worst record in the majors.

Despite being a veteran pitcher with seven years of experience, Domingo German had never before thrown a complete game in the big leagues. Earlier in the season, he faced a setback with a 10-game suspension after being ejected for using an illegal sticky substance on the mound during a game in Toronto. However, Domingo German demonstrated resilience and determination, culminating in his historic achievement.

Executing his pitches with precision, Domingo German found his rhythm. Out of his 99 pitches, he impressively threw 72 strikes, mixing an assortment of 51 curveballs, 30 fastballs, 17 changeups, and one sinker.

As the ninth inning unfolded, Domingo German displayed nerves of steel. With the crowd of 12,479 roaring, he sealed the victory he had initiated. The Yankees’ dugout and bullpen erupted in jubilation as his teammates raced to the mound to celebrate the historic moment.

Just six days after a challenging outing where he allowed a career-high eight runs, Domingo German not only bounced back but also achieved a personal milestone by recording his 500th career strikeout, epitomizing perfection on the mound.

Domingo German’s remarkable performance marked the 13th no-hitter in Yankees history, including Larsen’s iconic perfect game during the World Series. Prior to Domingo German’s achievement, the most recent Yankees no-hitter occurred on May 19, 2021, when Corey Kluber accomplished the feat against the Texas Rangers.

German’s reaction

Yankees starter Domingo German pitched a perfect game against the A's on June 28, 2023, at Oakland.
AP Photo

“Definitely not an easy week,” he told. “At the same time, I felt like staying here with the team and doing my job and all the support they provided me to allow me to do this, they gave me the strength and support I needed to be here and stay with my team. Trying to find a way to stay positive throughout it all.”

“So exciting. When you think about something very unique in baseball, you know not many people have an opportunity to pitch a perfect game. To accomplish something like this in my career, you know (it) is something that I’m going to remember forever, be part of history.”

“Unfortunately, two days ago an uncle of mine passed away, and … I cried a lot yesterday in the clubhouse. So I had him with me throughout the whole game. I was thinking about him … and it happened. This game is a tribute to him. He would have been so happy. He was always someone that really brought a joy to our family, and it happened for him to watch it this way, from up there.”

“I felt an amount of pressure I’ve never felt before,” German admitted.

The Yankees react

“A perfect game, who does that?” said Kyle Higashioka, who was the catcher for Corey Kluber’s no-hitter and Domingo German’s perfect game. “You could definitely feel a little bit of tension. But I thought Domingo handled it perfectly.”

“Actually, it was quite different,” Higashioka said. “Honestly, I just felt like I was a passenger for this one. Don’t miss the ball and don’t mess it up. Domingo was definitely driving the ship. He had a plan — we both had a plan, but he had ultimate confidence in his stuff. When he liked a pitch, he was sticking with it. I’m just happy for Domingo. He’s had a rough last couple starts, and he’s kind of been dragging a little bit. And just for him to do this and get back to being himself – I kind of always felt out of anyone he has a really good chance to do something like this, and for it to all come together tonight is amazing.”

“To see his teammates, how excited they are for him, knowing what he was going through the last couple of days, I’m so proud of him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s been through so much. This has not been an easy week or time for him. For him to go out there and paint that masterpiece was really just a lot of fun to be able to watch.”

“It was so much fun to watch him do that,” Boone said. “Watching him paint a masterpiece.”

David Cone praised Domingo German

“This was great to follow,” David Cone told on YES Network. “He was so efficient the whole time.”

Cone also said it was a great moment for German, catcher Kyle Higashioka and the entire Yankees’ organization.

“You know, … this is a long time coming for both of those kids and too see them celebrate together after the game with the team and the photo behind it, I think was just remarkable. “[The] pure joy on Domingo’s face was just palpable. I think the battle is, is you just want to stay in this sort of relentless attack mode,” Cone said. “I know that’s what I thought is you, you can’t take your foot off the gas pedal, so to speak.”

“He did a great job of that. He really did.”

How the Yankees sportscaster reacted

On Wednesday, both Michael Kay and John Sterling were not on the Yankees booth. However, Ryan Ruocco made sure to make this historic moment memorable on Yes Network.

“Esteury Ruiz stands in his way. Grounded to third, [Josh] Donaldson has it, there it is — perfection for Domingo German!” Ruocco announced and paused for 22 seconds as the final moment unfolded.

“Domingo German … has thrown the 24th perfect game in baseball history, the fourth perfect game in Yankees history,” Ruocco burst into the mike. “And you will always remember where you were June 28 of 2023.”

On WFAN, Shackil avoided the sensational voice but made it enjoyable.

“And German, the righty, deals to the plate. Swung on, ground ball to third, Donaldson’s up with it, he throws to first. Domingo German has pitched a perfect game,” Shackil said. “For the fourth time in the history of the New York Yankees, perfection attained.

“On a chilly night in Oakland, California, Domingo German has tossed the 24th perfect game in major league history.”

“From the first pitch of the ballgame, Domingo German showed you things were working well,” he said “Fastball, curveball, changeup, everything was on its best behavior tonight for Domingo German.”

Dallas Braden, who had a similar historic moment on May 9, 2010, was on NBC Sports Bay Area. He made it more glittering:

“From the first pitch of the ballgame, Domingo German showed you things were working well. Fastball, curveball, changeup, everything was on its best behavior tonight for Domingo German.”

Yankees fans, Twitter erupted in elation that soon became a euphoria

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