Domingo German rolled up his long sleeve, showing off the tattoos that run from his shoulder to his wrist. They bear the names of his departed family members.
The Yankees announced Wednesday that the pitcher has agreed to voluntarily enter alcohol treatment. General manager Brian Cashman would not disclose details, but said that the club does not expect German to pitch this season.
1. He’s the first pitcher born in the Dominican Republic to pitch a perfect game.
German was born in San Pedro de Macoris, a city that has produced many of baseball’s top players over the years. Now, at 30, he’s the first pitcher from that city to throw a perfect game in the major leagues. It’s just one more feather in his cap as he continues to rise through the ranks of New York’s rotation.
German’s perfect game was the fourth of this season and the first since Felix Hernandez threw one for Seattle in 2012. It was also the Yankees’ fourth in team history and their first since Don Larsen’s in Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.
It’s been a long road to this point for German, who made his debut with the Yankees in June 2017 and immediately established himself as a key contributor to their rotation. However, he’s had to overcome some serious hurdles over the course of his career, including a domestic violence incident in September 2019.
That incident began when German and his then-girlfriend, now-wife Mara Vega, attended a charity gala hosted by CC Sabathia and other teammates, where the pair allegedly got into an argument. Afterward, German reportedly slapped Vega in their home. The couple ended their relationship shortly after, and German was eventually suspended for 81 games by MLB.
While the incident was a major setback for German, he has since shown that he’s ready to move forward and leave a lasting positive impact on the game. He’s also committed to personal growth and redemption, and has taken steps to show he can be a role model for other players.
In Wednesday’s game, German was able to pitch his perfect game in front of his hometown crowd at the Oakland Coliseum. His family members were on hand to watch, and they couldn’t be prouder of him.
German dominated the A’s in his perfect game, striking out 13 batters and retiring all 27 of them on defense. His most impressive performance came with his curveball, which he used to get 12 swings-and-misses. He only ran a three-ball count twice on the night, falling behind Ryan Noda 3-1 in the fourth and Jonah Bride by the same margin in the eighth. He got both of those batters to chase the ball out of the stadium, and he escaped further damage with three straight curves to Bride.
2. He’s the first Yankee to pitch a perfect game.
After a rough start to the season, Domingo German gave the Yankees the perfect game they needed. The 30-year-old right-hander retired all 27 A’s batters, striking out nine of them, as New York won 11-0 at Oakland Coliseum. It was the fourth perfect game in Yankees history and the 24th in MLB history.
He did it in style, needing just 99 pitches to complete the feat. The victory, which lifted the Yankees to 44-36, was only their second of the year and came after two straight clunkers in which they scored 17 runs.
German, who was signed as an international free agent by the Florida Marlins in 2009 and made his MLB debut on June 11, 2017, wowed with his skill set during his time in the minor leagues. The native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, used a solid fastball with an effective repertoire of secondary pitches to rise through the system.
In 2019, he emerged as a key member of the Yankees’ rotation, posting an 18-4 record with a 4.03 ERA in 27 games (24 starts). He also excelled in the postseason, helping the Yanks to a wild-card spot.
But after a tough outing in his last outing, German entered Wednesday’s matchup with the A’s on a short leash. And he was rewarded for his effort, becoming the first Yankee to throw a perfect game since David Cone on May 17, 1998 against the Twins and the first for a team other than the White Sox.
The ecstatic German stood on the mound at the end of the ninth inning, holding his arms in the air as teammates surrounded him. It was a memorable night, made even more special for the pitcher who revealed after the game that his uncle died earlier in the week.
It was a bittersweet moment for German, who joined Don Larsen (1956 in Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers), David Wells (April 28, 1998 vs. Twins), and Yankee great Greg Maddux (Oct. 8, 2000 vs. Minnesota) as the only Yankee pitchers to throw a perfect game.
3. He’s the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his career.
There aren’t too many chances in sports to witness the sublime, and on one of those rare occasions, the Yankees got a glimpse of perfection in Domingo German’s first career start. The right-hander pitched six no-hit innings, allowing just two walks and striking out nine in his team’s 11-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. It was the fourth perfect game in MLB history and the first since Felix Hernandez’s against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15, 2012.
German’s performance was nearly perfect, too, as he came within a few pitches of completing the feat. He threw just 99 pitches, including 72 for strikes, and mixed in 51 curveballs with 30 fastballs that averaged 92.5mph and 17 changeups and sinkers. He needed help from the Yankees’ defense in the form of a diving play by first baseman Anthony Rizzo to steal the second out of the fifth inning, but once the perfect game was in sight, German seemed to tap into an extra reserve of execution. He struck out Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker on a pair of filthy curveballs to close out the inning.
As a result, he became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his career and the first to do so after allowing 10-plus runs in his previous start. He also joins Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone as a pitcher on the list of New York Yankees to have thrown a no-hitter, making him just the fourth Yankee to achieve the feat.
With the final out recorded on a ground ball to third baseman Josh Donaldson by A’s catcher Esteury Ruiz in the ninth inning, German’s teammates ran out of the dugout and bullpen to congratulate him. He threw his arms open wide to greet them, then accepted hugs one at a time. It’s an incredible moment to remember for a pitcher who had been struggling to find his way in the majors and fought hard for his starting job this season. But he proved his worth, and it’s clear that the Yankees will be relying on him for years to come.
4. He’s the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the Bronx.
German joins Don Larsen, David Cone and David Wells as the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in the Bronx. German’s perfect game was the first in a Yankee stadium since Matt Cain’s against the A’s in 2012. It is also the first no-hitter in which the Yankees have scored at least 11 runs, and the largest margin of victory for a no-hitter (since the Giants won 10-0 behind Matt Cain on June 27, 2012).
The 30-year-old German was shaky at times this season, but his performance on Wednesday night may give him the boost he needs to stay in the rotation. He was not guaranteed a spot in New York’s starting five when he reported to camp, but injuries to starters Frankie Montas, Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino paved the way for him to earn the job.
Against the A’s, he was almost flawless, allowing only one hit and no walks while striking out nine. He was at his best when he used his high-90s fastball, which he mixed in with his curveball and changeup. German threw 99 pitches, 72 of them for strikes. He did not have to work his way into three-ball counts, and the Yankees’ defense helped him make it through a six-run top of the fifth inning without allowing a single A’s hit.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo made a diving stab at a bloop grounder by Jonah Bride in the seventh, and third baseman Josh Donaldson flipped to second base to retire Shea Lanegeliers on a close play at the bag in the eighth. In the ninth inning, German got Aledmys Diaz to fly out to center field, and Esteury Ruiz grounded into a double play to end the game.
After the game, German dedicated his perfect performance to his late uncle. He also spoke emotionally about his brother’s suicide, which he said was the reason for his recent struggles. He told YES that he spent the final moments of the game crying on the mound. His emotional outing capped off a memorable day for the New York Yankees, who are now one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings.