domingo german yankees
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

One of the greatest things about baseball is that at any given moment, you can see something you’ve never seen before. Yankees starting pitching Domingo German did something on Wednesday night that we have seen before, but not often. He registered the 24th perfect game in baseball history against the Oakland Athletics.

The performance itself was historic just because of how rare of an occurrence it is. But, it’s even rarer when considering how badly he pitched in his two starts leading up to this one by the Bay.

Of the 23 other perfect games, I was able to get start-by-start information for 21 of them. (There were two in 1880, one by John Ward and another by Lee Richmond, that didn’t have game log stats available). Upon looking at the two starts prior to each pitcher’s perfect game, nobody allowed more earned runs in fewer innings than German. Check it out:

  • Cy Young, 1904: 0 earned runs in 15 innings pitched
  • Addie Joss, 1908: 0 ER in 13 IP
  • Charlie Robertson,1922: 5 ER in 15 IP
  • Don Larsen, 1956: 0 ER in 8.2 IP
  • Jim Bunning, 1964: 6 ER in 13.1 IP
  • Sandy Koufax, 1965: 5 ER in 17.2 IP
  • Catfish Hunter, 1968: 5 ER in 16.2 IP
  • Len Barker, 1981: 2 ER in 17 IP
  • Mike Witt, 1984: 4 ER in 14.2 IP
  • Tom Browning, 1988: 5 ER in 17 IP
  • Dennis Martinez, 1991: 6 ER in 13.1 IP
  • Kenny Rogers, 1994: 4 ER in 15 IP
  • David Wells, 1998: 9 ER in 10.2 IP
  • David Cone, 1999: 7 ER in 13 IP
  • Randy Johnson, 2004: 3 ER in 13.1 IP
  • Mark Buehrle, 2009: 9 ER in 10.2 IP
  • Dallas Braden, 2010: 9 ER in 11 IP
  • Roy Halladay, 2010: 8 ER in 14.2 IP
  • Philip Humber, 2012: 2 ER in 12 IP
  • Matt Cain, 2012: 1 ER in 15 IP
  • Felix Hernandez, 2012: 5 ER in 16 IP
  • Domingo German, 2023: 15 ER in 5.1 IP

Because it happens so infrequently, perfect games typically come out of nowhere. There are times when guys we’d expect to eventually record one get the job done. And, there are times when certain hurlers unexpectedly enter this exclusive club (like Philip Humber and Dallas Braden).

German simply tossing a perfect game immediately put him in that “unexpected” category. But with how badly he had pitched in his two prior starts, he just made a new club all for himself.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.