German threw the 24th perfect game in MLB history and became the fourth Yankee ever to achieve the feat (Don Larsen – 1956, David Wells – 1998 and David Cone – 1999), but it’s what he said after his performance that really puts Wednesday night’s outing into perspective.
Speaking to YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, German revealed that he lost an uncle earlier in the week.
“Two days ago an uncle of mine passed away,” German said through the team’s interpreter. “I cried a lot yesterday in the clubhouse, so I had him with me throughout the whole game. This game is a tribute to him.”
“It’s been a tough week for Domingo,” manager Aaron Boone said after the game. “With what he’s gone though, losing an uncle and for him to go out there and do that. It adds to the emotion for him. And to see his teammates, how excited they are for him knowing what he’s gone through the last couple of days.
“I’m so proud of him. He’s been through so much and this has not been an easy time or week for him and to be able to paint that masterpiece, it was a lot of fun to be able to watch.”
German said he had “no doubt” he was making Wednesday’s start despite the death in his family. The right-hander explained that he was in communication with his family but he felt like he needed to be with his teammates and pitch, and they supported him.
It was especially important for German after he was roughed up in his last two starts. Back on June 16 against the Red Sox, German gave up seven earned runs in just two innings of work. His next start, June 22 against the Mariners, was worse. He gave up 10 runs (eight earned) over 3.1 innings.
He entered Wednesday’s start with a 5.10 ERA and became just the second pitcher since 1912 to go into their eventual perfect game with an ERA over 5.00. German joined Wells to have that distinction.
“Makes me happy to see him bounce back, especially after a couple of rough starts,” Kyle Higashioka said after the game. “Makes me really happy to see him get back on track and have a night like this.”
Higashioka joined Yogi Berra, Joe Girardi and Jorge Posada as the Yankee catchers to catch perfect games in the team’s history. The 33-year-old also has a no-hitter under his belt, when he was the backstop for Corey Kluber in 2021.
Wednesday was different, as Higashioka explained.
“I felt like I was a passenger for this one,” he said. “Domingo was definitely riding the ship. We both had a plan but he had ultimate confidence in his pitches. The way his stuff was working, I think he would’ve thrown it to anybody. I’m just lucky to have been back there.”
German had the most confidence in his curveball against the Athletics. He located it with precision to get first-pitch strikes and put batters away. German wound up striking out nine hitters, eight from the curve.
As German put it, “everything worked perfectly.”
And on the back of that curveball, German made more history. He became the first Dominican-born pitcher to pitch a perfect game and the first pitcher to do so since Felix Hernandez in 2012. The history isn’t lost on the 30-year-old, neither is having his name follow someone he grew up watching pitch.
“When you think about the history of baseball and how many have done it, to be a part of history. It’s exciting and I’m happy,” German said. “And Felix being the last one to do it, he was my idol. I looked up to the way he pitched. And to be on that list following him, means a lot.”
Source: Yahoo Sports