It Was Perfect

By | Jul 23, 2009

Mark Buehrle probably breathed a sigh of relief when the long fly ball off of the bat of Gabe Kapler was caught by DeWayne Wise. Not only did Wise bring what would have been a Home Run back into the ballpark for an out, it kept his perfect game intact. Two batter later when Jason Bartlett grounded out the game was over and Buehrle registered his second no-hitter and first perfect game.

Major League Baseball defines a perfect game as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory lasting a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. In short 27 batters retired without any of them getting on base.

There has only been 18 perfect games in the history of baseball. All of these have been pitched by a single pitcher and none has been longer than a nine inning game.

On average a perfect game occurs every 8 years with the longest period between perfect games being 34 years between 1922 and 1956. Two perfect games have occurred in the 2000s with three occurring in the past 11 season, including the present one.

The only perfect game pitched outside of the regular season was in the 1956 World Series when New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

There has been nine times that the 27th batter got on base by either a hit, error or base on balls resulting in a perfect game not being thrown. But the worst case of a missed perfect game may have been on June 3, 1995 when Pedro Martínez of the Montreal Expos retired all 27 batters he faced in nine innings against the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately for Martínez the Expos had not scored and the game went into extra innings. After the Expos scored in the top of the 10th, Martínez gave up a hit to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 10th ruining the perfect game.

The list of Perfect Games:
* Lee Richmond, Worchester vs. Cleveland, June 12, 1880
* Monte Ward, Providence vs. Boston, June 17, 1880
* Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia, May 5, 1904
* Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago, October 2, 1908
* Charlie Robertson, Chicago vs. Detroit, April 30, 1922
* Don Larsen, New York vs. Brooklyn, October 8, 1956
* Jim Bunning, Philadelphia vs. New York, June 21, 1964
* Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago, September 9, 1965
* Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota, May 8, 1968
* Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto, May 15, 1981
* Mike Witt, California vs. Texas, September 30, 1984
* Tom Browning, Cinncinati. vs Los Angeles,September 16, 1988
* Dennis Martinez, Montreal vs. Los Angeles, July 28, 1991
* Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California, July 28, 1994
* David Wells, New York vs. Minnesota, May 17, 1998
* David Cone, New York vs. Montreal, July 18, 1999
* Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Braves, May 18, 2004
* Mark Buehrle, Chicago vs. Tampa Bay, July 23, 2009

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