The encore to Domingo German’s perfect game was far from perfect — especially after the first inning.
Five days after German tossed the 24th perfect game in MLB history, and the fourth in Yankees history, he didn’t even last five innings, allowing nine hits and three runs — two earned — while striking out five batters across 4 ²/₃ frames.
There were celebratory moments, via greetings from fans and highlights and broadcast calls filling the Yankees’ 6-3 victory against the Orioles on Monday, but by the end of his outing, German had delivered a reminder of the inconsistencies that defined his 2023 season until the historical night.
“Domingo gave up a lot of hits, a lot of traffic,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But we were in it. It didn’t get away. He stayed away from the extra-base hit and the slug.
“Obviously, not perfect, but we were in it.”
The Yankees have some rotation decisions to make, too.
With Carlos Rodon slated for a return this week, the Yankees now have a rotation jam.
There’s six starters.
One, Clarke Schmidt, could move to the bullpen, similar to last year.
But on Monday, they relived the perfect game.
The pregame greeting for German, predictably, reflected that of a pitcher who just made history and not someone with a 7.77 ERA in the four starts prior to that.
When he jogged out to the bullpen pregame, the loud cheers began. German paused, clapping his hands above his head, and the Yankees also played a video of highlights from the Oakland game.
Even after exiting in the fifth and leaving runners on first and third, German still received applause.
“It meant a lot,” German said through an interpreter. “It was great to see all the fans showing support like that. To me, it’s a two-way avenue of a lot of support back and forth throughout the years. More encouragement to keep giving out the best I have, so I can keep enjoying our games.”
Any lingering brilliance from German’s perfect game lasted just three batters, though.
He recorded a 1-2-3 first inning, but the Orioles started the second with three consecutive singles.
The third, by Cedric Mullins, scored Ryan O’Hearn.
Two innings later, the Orioles added two runs to their lead.
German needed 20 or more pitches to complete the second, third and fourth innings.
The perfect game could only carry so much momentum.
German didn’t have the same efficiency, the same dazzling curveball.
Instead, Monday became another different chapter — in a career filled with injuries, inconsistencies, an 81-game domestic violence suspension in 2020 and a sticky-stuff ejection and suspension this year — instead of a repeat.
“The outing tonight, I think, my fastball and my other secondary pitches weren’t as sharp as I wanted them,” German said. “Credit to [the Orioles], actually. They made adjustments throughout the game, and they were able to put the ball in play. And that’s what this sport is about.”