During bids for no-hitters and perfect games, conventional baseball superstition demands that the pitcher throwing the gem not be disturbed. Teammates and coaches shy away.
But after Domingo Germán completed a seventh perfect inning Wednesday at Oakland Coliseum, the Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake sat beside him and chatted.
The break in tradition did not matter. Germán set down the next six hitters in the Athletics’ order to throw the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history in an 11-0 win.
“So exciting,” Germán said through an interpreter during an on-field interview after the game. “When you think about something very unique in baseball. Not many people have an opportunity to pitch a perfect game and accomplish something like this.”
After a relative spate of them — two in 2010 and three in 2012 — nearly 11 years had passed since the Seattle Mariners star Félix Hernández tossed the most recent perfect game.
Germán remained spotless even after long delays in the dugout as his team scored six runs in the top of the fifth inning; when Oakland’s pitcher left with an injury in the seventh; and when the Yankees tacked on more runs in the ninth. And he maintained his rhythm with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when a ball escaped the Oakland bullpen and briefly paused his matchup with Jonah Bride.
Germán completed the perfect game by inducing a groundout from Esteury Ruiz, the speedy Oakland outfielder.
“That last inning was very different,” Germán said. “I felt an amount of pressure that I’ve never felt before.”
It was the second Yankee no-hitter in the past three seasons, following a 2021 performance by Corey Kluber against the Texas Rangers. Kyle Higashioka, the Yankees catcher, was behind the plate for both games.
The masterpiece of a game was the highest point, by far, in an uneven season for Germán. He had been suspended for 10 games in mid-May for violating league rules against the use of foreign substances on the ball. He has put together strong outings, like when he allowed only one run over 8 ⅓ innings against Cleveland last month. But his past two starts were a far cry from that showing, yielding 15 earned runs over 5 ⅓ innings against Boston and Seattle.
On Wednesday, no one could touch him.