For all of Domingo German’s imperfections, he was perfect Wednesday in Oakland

Few things in life are perfect. One could argue the only way to achieve the ever fleeting sensation is through sports.

MLB has been in existence for 140 years. There have been over 235,000 games played.

Last night Yankees pitcher Domingo German pitched just the 24th perfect game in history.

Yes that Domingo German who was projected outside of the Yankees’ rotation at the beginning of the season. The same German who allowed 10 runs in his last start. Yeah baseball is weird.

There was a time when it seemed plausible Germán wasn’t going to be a Yankees starter again. He was suspended for 81 games near the end of the 2019 season after becoming physically violent toward his then-girlfriend while at a team function. At the time, it was the harshest ban levied on a player who had been investigated following domestic violence allegations but never criminally charged.

He missed 18 games in 2019, then missed all of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before needing to convince the Yankees to bring him back in 2021, to the dismay of some teammates. Relief pitcher Zack Britton told reporters before Germán’s comeback that season, “Sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are.”

In February, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters he was “really excited” about the growth Germán had shown, personally and professionally.

“I do feel like there’s been a lot of maturity that’s happened with him over the last couple of years, but even from last year until this spring so far, he certainly understands where he’s at in his career and the opportunities that are in front of him right now,” Boone said. “I think he understands the importance of that and the seriousness and excitement of that. He’s in a pretty good spot right now for us. It’s good to see.”

Germán gave up his No. 55 jersey to Rodón after he was signed this offseason and changed it to No. 0, the only single-digit number remaining for the Yankees, to signify a new beginning for himself. He told the “Con Las Bases Llenas” podcast this spring that he battled depression after his 2019 incident because his actions nearly cost him his family and career. Since 2019, Germán has sought counseling to become a better husband and father while also rediscovering how to become the 18-game winner he was during that season.

When he returned from suspension in 2021, Germán struggled on the mound. He was sent to the alternate site early that season to work on his mechanics. He ended up battling shoulder inflammation and finished with a 4.58 ERA. He bounced back last season after missing half the year with a shoulder impingement but wasn’t trusted enough to be an option for the Yankees in the postseason.

This season, Germán has been nothing short of unpredictable and untrustworthy on the mound — far from becoming the Yankees’ fourth perfect game pitcher, joining Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone.

In his previous two outings, Germán looked like one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball. He allowed seven runs in two innings against Boston on June 16 and 10 runs and four home runs in his last outing against Seattle. His ERA ballooned from 3.49 to 5.10 after those games.

But last night for all of German’s imperfections, he captured perfection.

“Something I’m going to remember forever,” Germán said in the postgame interview on the YES Network, via the team’s Spanish interpreter. “Part of history.”

MLB hadn’t seen a perfect game since the Mariners’ Félix Hernández in 2012.

“I felt an amount of pressure that I never felt before,” said Germán, who struck out nine batters and threw 99 pitches.

His curveball was the best it’s been all season against Oakland. He registered a 38 percent whiff rate on his curveball and had an 80 percent strike rate on 51 curves. With two outs in the eighth inning, Germán fell behind Jonah Bride 3-1. He threw a get-me-over curveball for a called strike. Bride fouled off a curveball, then hit a curveball into the ground for out No. 24. In the ninth, he threw six pitches, five of which were curves. Nineteen of the 27 outs Germán recorded ended on a curveball.

Germán’s curveball is by far his best put-away pitch, and it’s fitting. His career has resembled curveball after curveball. And it’s the curveball that cements his name into perfection.

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