Many believe there is simply no such thing. Perfection is so hard to attain in life. And it’s downright impossible to accomplish perfection in sports.
At least that’s what many, if not most, believe.
But there is perfection in baseball. When a pitcher goes the distance, faces the minimum number of batters and gets all 27 of them out allowing no hits or runs, and there are no errors or hit batsmen — well, that’s perfection.
That’s a perfect game.
There have been pitchers who have thrown no-hitters. But they may have walked a batter, or there may have been a batter get on base by error. That’s still a no-hitter, but not a perfect game.
Perfect games are just that. No hits. No errors. No runs. No walks. Absolutely no baserunners. Twenty-seven up, 27 down.
It stands to reason that perfect games are very few and far between. There have been just 24 perfect games in Major League Baseball history.
The 24th perfect game in MLB history happened Wednesday night. New York Yankees righthander Domingo German retired 27 straight Oakland batters, leading the Yankees to an 11-0 win over the A’s.
It’s been 11 seasons since Seattle Mariner Felix Hernandez tossed the last perfect game in the big leagues.
German became the fourth New York Yankee pitcher to throw a perfect game. Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone are the others. Those four perfect game pitchers give the Yankees franchise the most among MLB teams.
It is true that the Oakland A’s are one the worst offensive teams in MLB.
But this is a Major League Baseball team made up of Major Leaguers. The A’s have professional hitters.
And Domingo German got every hitter he faced to make an out.
What a difference a few days make as well. German went from getting booed off the mound his previous start to a perfect game.
German was booed off the mound in Yankee Stadium after allowing 10 runs, eight hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings against the Mariners in that start.
German had allowed seven earned runs to the Boston Red Sox in the start before that.
German had given up 15 earned runs in his previous two starts. His season so far also includes an ejection and being suspended 10 games for violating Major League Baseball’s foreign substance policy.
What a comeback. After weeks of struggling to get anybody out, it all came together for German on Wednesday. He had his stuff, but he also had a very good defense behind him making plays.
As in most perfect games and no-hitters, there is the occasional big defensive play.
In fact, I’m convinced that you can count on a very good defensive play being made in every baseball game. There always seems to be big plays made in big games or during big performances like perfect games.
It will be German’s name that will be mentioned with regard to that perfect game victory the Yankees had over the A’s.
And rightfully so.
It was German who was on the mound. He was making the pitches that actually begins play.
But as in every great pitching accomplishment, there are the actions of teammates that have just as much to do with having success.
German was getting great support from his defense. His teammates performed very well in the field.
German also got outstanding support from the Yankees offense.
The Yankees scored some runs in this game. New York was able to play with the lead, always a more comfortable spot for the offense.
And for the pitcher, throwing with a lead is so much better.
Domingo German was certainly a lot better.
In fact, in baseball terms, he was downright perfect.