Traditional baseball myths dictate that a pitcher should not interfere with the pitcher’s pitch when aiming for a no-hitter or a perfect game. Teammates and coaches shy away.
But after Domingo German pitched seven complete innings Wednesday at the Oakland Coliseum, Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake sat next to him for a chat.
Breaking tradition was not the problem. Gelman struck out the Athletics’ next six hitters for the 24th perfect game in major league history in an 11-0 win.
“It’s very exciting,” Gelman said in an on-field interview after the game in Spanish through an interpreter. “When you think about something so unique in baseball. Not many people have the chance to pitch a perfect game and achieve something like this.”
After relatively frequent successes in 2010 and 3 in 2012, it had been nearly 11 years since Seattle Mariners star Felix Hernandez had his last perfect game.
Gelman, who entered the game with a 5.10 ERA this season, remained unscathed after a long delay in the dugout as his team scored six in the top of the fifth. when the Oakland pitcher left with an injury in the seventh inning. And when the Yankees scored more in the ninth inning. He kept his rhythm in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, but the ball slipped out of Oakland’s bullpen, suspending his match with Jonah Blyde.
A modest crowd of 12,479 in Oakland, Calif., rose to their feet as Jarman appeared in the ninth inning and yelled “Let’s go, Yankees” as he faced the leadoff hitter of the inning.
Gelman lured a ground out from Oakland’s fast-footed outfielder Estrie Ruiz to join the club with Hernández, whom he called his childhood idol, and achieved a perfect game.
“That finale was a completely different story,” Gelman said. “I felt more pressure than I have ever felt before.”
He continued, “There was a lot of pressure, but it was still very rewarding.”
Gelman dedicated the performance to his uncle, who died two days earlier. His uncle was “a man who always brought great joy to our family.”
“I cried a lot yesterday,” he said. “I was with him the whole game.”
Later, during a TV interview, a teammate gave Gelman a cooler, and Gelman took a picture with the game ball, catcher Kyle Higashioka, and other teammates.
It was the fourth perfect game in Yankees history after Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series, David Wells in 1998 and David Cohn in 1999. He also became the Yankees’ second no-hitter in the last three seasons, behind Cory’s record in 2021. Kluber vs Texas Rangers. Higashioka was at bat in both games.
Gelman has been throwing a curveball about 40 percent of the time this season, even more than a fastball, and Higashioka said Wednesday that it was the curveball that allowed Gelman to record 20 of 27 outs. “It was an important pitch,” he said.
“He was amazing tonight and he deserves all the praise,” Higashioka said.
The spectacular game was the highest score so far in what has been an uneven season for German. He was suspended for 10 games in mid-May for violating league rules regarding the use of objects on the ball. He’s put together strong games, like he did last month against Cleveland when he allowed just one run in eight 1/3 innings. But his last two starts have been far from that, recording 15 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against Boston and Seattle.
An irregular season is nothing new for Germany. Throughout his six-plus years in the majors, he had periods of success and failure, dealt with multiple injuries, and appeared in 81 games, including part of the 2019 season and the entire 2020 season, due to MLB domestic violence policy violations. received a suspension.
But for just one night in Auckland, he put it all together. He said he was thinking about perfection all through Wednesday’s game. And in the end, no one could touch him.