In the span of a few hours, New York Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán went from one of the worst stretches of his career to MLB history.
The right-hander threw the 24th perfect game in MLB history in an 11-0 Yankees win on Wednesday, setting down the moribund Oakland Athletics 27 in a row. It is also the fourth perfect game in Yankees history, joining Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone, giving the franchise the most in MLB history.
The final stat line: nine innings pitched, zero hits, zero walks, nine strikeouts and 99 pitches.
The feat also snaps an 11-year drought since the last perfect game, when Seattle Mariners great Félix Hernández found perfection on Aug. 15, 2012. It was the longest drought since a 13-year span between 1968 (Catfish Hunter) and 1981 (Len Barker).
As is true for all perfect games, it wasn’t a purely individual feat for Germán, who was helped defensive plays like this diving stop in the fifth inning.
Of course, the story here is Germán, who was as far away from perfection as nearly any pitcher in MLB over the last couple months.
Domingo Germán was booed by Yankees fans in his last start
Rewind six days and you would see Germán walking off the mound at Yankee Stadium, getting heartily booed after allowing 10 runs (eight earned), eight hits and two walks in 3.1 innings against the Mariners, increasing his ERA to 5.10.
That ERA would have been the sixth-worst in MLB entering Wednesday had Germán thrown enough innings to qualify.
The game was Germán’s second straight clunker, as he also allowed seven earned runs in his previous start against the Boston Red Sox. It was that kind of season for Germán, who saw similar results in April. His May might have been considered a good stretch, had he not been ejected and suspended 10 games for allegedly violating MLB’s foreign substance policy.
Perfect games truly can come from anywhere. For every Sandy Koufax, there’s a Phillip Humber. Germán’s historic night, however, might be the most surprising of them all.
Another low for the A’s
If there’s a knock against Germán’s feat, it was against the A’s, whose status as a Major League team gets more tenuous by the day.
The team was already the worst in MLB with a historically bad 21-60 record and -223 run differential entering Wednesday. They were already going through a contentious relocation process that will likely see them land in Las Vegas over the next few years. There attendance was at historic lows after two decades of notoriously low payrolls with only sporadic regular season success.
And now, a perfect game from Germán. You can really only wonder if this is rock bottom.
Source: Yahoo Sports