OAKLAND, Calif. — Kyle Higashioka caught Corey Kluber’s no-hitter in 2021, but one-upped it two years later on Wednesday night.
Higashioka caught Domingo German’s perfect game in the Yankees’ 11-0 win over the Athletics at Oakland Coliseum, becoming just the 24th battery mate in MLB history to do so.
But the longest-tenured Yankee said this one did not feel at all similar to Kluber’s gem.
“Actually, it was quite different,” Higashioka said. “Honestly, I just felt like I was a passenger for this one. Don’t miss the ball and don’t mess it up. Domingo was definitely driving the ship. He had a plan — we both had a plan, but he had ultimate confidence in his stuff. When he liked a pitch, he was sticking with it.”
German, throwing to Higashioka for the 31st time in his career, admittedly shook off his catcher on many occasions throughout the night. But the two found the right combination across 99 pitches — 51 curveballs, 30 fastballs, 17 changeups and one sinker — to make history.
“We’ve worked together for a long time, so it’s common for me to shake him on some pitches here and there,” German said through an interpreter.
“But that’s what it’s all about — sometimes you have an instinct on what pitch to execute. He quickly goes to the next one and it’s exactly the one that I want. We’ve worked together as a team for a long, long time. I guess we just know each other very well.”
Higashioka, who also caught a pair of no-hitters in the minor leagues, relished catching German on Wednesday.
“It was just a privilege to be back there for him,” Higashioka said. “The way his stuff was working, I think he would have thrown it to anybody. I’m just lucky to have been back there.”