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Perfect.
July 23, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Pitcher Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox has thrown a perfect game. A tremendous sporting achievement; this has happened only 19 times in the history of major league baseball. Buehrle is the 17th pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) and the first since Randy Johnson in 2004.
posted by uaudio (176 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Go White Sox!
posted by readery at 1:27 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Even more impressive that it comes against the Rays, who are the third highest scoring team in baseball this season.
posted by Hume at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Very impressive. Always an amazing achievement.
posted by billysumday at 1:30 PM on July 23, 2009


Oh, man. One of the few days this summer I haven't turned on my television to scope out whatever baseball might be on, and I happen to miss this. Damn.

I wonder if Buehrle was tripping on lsd.
posted by hippybear at 1:30 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Very cool! Congrats, Mark!
posted by Thorzdad at 1:31 PM on July 23, 2009


I didn't click...were they playing the Mets? Cuz I think I could throw a perfect game against the Mets.
posted by spicynuts at 1:32 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh..whooops..I see the comment about the Rays.
posted by spicynuts at 1:32 PM on July 23, 2009


It's about time one of my fantasy pitchers did something right.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:33 PM on July 23, 2009


Also, here's an article to round out the box score and Wiki page.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:35 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


BENCHED! I HAD HIM BENCHED! MOTHERFUCKITY FUCK!

I'm going to go cry now.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:37 PM on July 23, 2009 [28 favorites]


GO WHITE SOX WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by scody at 1:38 PM on July 23, 2009


Dewayne Wise will probably not be paying for his cocktails tonight. Perfect games are always defense heavy by definition, but I don't recall ever seeing such an acrobatic and amazing catch to keep the game perfect - and in the 9th inning no less.
posted by uaudio at 1:39 PM on July 23, 2009


Way to live up to your name and then some, hippy bear. That article is great.
According to accounts he gave the press in April 1984, Ellis had spent the morning of 12 June 1970 relaxing in his home town of Los Angeles, under the mistaken belief that the Pirates had the day off. Ellis said he ingested LSD around noon, but at about 1:00 PM his girlfriend picked up a newspaper and discovered that not only were the Pirates scheduled to play a double-header in San Diego that evening, but Ellis was slated to start the first game for Pittsburgh. Ellis' companion hustled him off to the airport by 3:30 PM and got him on a flight to San Diego, where arrived at 4:30 PM, in time for the double-header's 6:05 PM start.
Not just tripping, but tripping on mistaken day off. Oh, for the days of relaxed airport security.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:40 PM on July 23, 2009


Baseball as a sport may have plenty of faults, but where else is perfection both possible and terribly rare?
posted by wendell at 1:41 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


this has happened only 19 times in the history of major league baseball

Fun fact: One of those 19 perfect games was pitched by Kenny Rogers.

Less fun fact: Not that Kenny Rogers.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:46 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I really do not like the White Sox, but, as they say in baseball, you've got to tip your cap to him.
posted by elder18 at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2009


You win...........PERFECT!

--SF II
posted by jeremy b at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Highlight of the Wise perfecto-saving catch (might not work in Firefox). Wowee wow wow!
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2009 [18 favorites]


Less fun fact: Not that Kenny Rogers.

What is also not fun is that it wasn't Kenny Powers
posted by Mach5 at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2009


schoolgirl report: "might not work in Firefox"

Works great in Firefox. MLB.com is much improved this year.
posted by Plutor at 1:50 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'll go ahead and be pedantic here and mention that Doc Ellis pitched a No-Hitter while tripping balls, but not a perfect game.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:52 PM on July 23, 2009


Highlight of the Wise perfecto-saving catch (might not work in Firefox). Wowee wow wow!

That was incredible. Also amazing was the hilarious announcing in the clip of the final out. If I knew all it took to be an announcer was to say the word YES! a lot, I would be hanging out with Dennis Eckersley right now.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:52 PM on July 23, 2009


Awesome. Buehrle also threw a no-hitter back in '07 but this must be all the sweeter.

Wise's Catch.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:53 PM on July 23, 2009


On non-preview: Not everyone's perfect.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:53 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


18 times in history. Wikipedia still has 19 in the article due to a probably 4chan related edit that I won't even link to.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:53 PM on July 23, 2009


Wowee wow wow!

You make a very cogent point. Wowee, effing, wow wow, indeed. Just shows that a perfect game is rarely solely a great feat by the pitcher.
posted by yoink at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2009


Excellent. Jonathan Sanchez got close a few weeks ago vs. the Padres (into the 8th inning) until Juan Uribe flubbed a grounder. There's been some good pitching this month.
posted by empyrean at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


When the stars come right again and all of mankind is wild and free, the great Obama shall rise from his place of power and teach his Subjects new ways to revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.
posted by stavrogin at 1:55 PM on July 23, 2009


I'll go ahead and be pedantic here and mention that Doc Ellis pitched a No-Hitter while tripping balls, but not a perfect game.

Yeah--but did he know that?
posted by yoink at 1:55 PM on July 23, 2009


What's even more impressive is that this is a man who is pondering an early retirement.
posted by jaybeans at 1:56 PM on July 23, 2009


Also on uaudio's note about defense coming up big in perfect games/no hitters, one of my faves: Pedroia saving a no-hitter and punctuating it with a hearty "fuck yeah!".
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:56 PM on July 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


Josh Fields also hit a grand slam in the game. Perfect Game + Grand slam in the same game, no idea if thats occurred before...
posted by SirOmega at 1:57 PM on July 23, 2009


Oh, for the days of relaxed airport security.

actually airport security was already strict in the mid-80s. . .
posted by @troy at 1:59 PM on July 23, 2009


The game was on early today? Dammit! I always miss these things!
posted by dirigibleman at 1:59 PM on July 23, 2009


God, I love a perfect game. I watched David Wells throw one on my 18th birthday. The entire stadium was dead silent from the 7th inning on. Just the most amazing vibe ever.

And in retrospect I think he was drunk, which makes it all the better.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:02 PM on July 23, 2009


I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.

Dave Stieb of the Blue Jays gave up a perfect game with two-outs in the 9th in 1989, not to mention blowing a no-hitter with 2-outs in the 9th in two consecutive starts in 1988. (wiki)
posted by Adam_S at 2:03 PM on July 23, 2009


18th 20th. I know how old I am!
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:04 PM on July 23, 2009


Impressive.

Although: The White Sox announcers are most entertaining when the other team does something great.

Ken Harrelson with no emotion: And he hits the ball. It's going back. Grand slam.
posted by starman at 2:04 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mark Buehrle is so awesomely efficient. Could not have happened for a better pitcher. That guy blew through the 8th in like two minutes ten seconds. It's fun to watch batters take their time getting into the box while he sits waiting and ready to deliver.

Dewayne Wise. Ye shall be known.
posted by xmutex at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perfect Game + Grand slam in the same game, no idea if thats occurred before...

Nope.
posted by rokusan at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2009


I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.

Sort of the reverse, but my favorite almost perfect game is Ernie Shore for the Red Sox in 1917. Babe Ruth was the starting pitcher and walked the first batter, and was thrown out for arguing with the umpire. Ernie Shore then came in, the runner was caught stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 batters.
posted by kmz at 2:06 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Although: The White Sox announcers are most entertaining when the other team does something great.

God, how I hate those guys. Being homers is one thing, but they're so bloody annoying cheering the Sox on in every little thing and criticizing everything the opponents do. Like, could you at least fake a little impartiality? You're not ON the team, clowns!

They're the only announcers in baseball who get the sound turned off in my house.
posted by rokusan at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I dunno, man. There's two sides to a Perfect Game, and one of them is perfectly awful.

I were a Devil Ray, I'd probably be thinking about going back to Satanism.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]




I'll go ahead and be pedantic here and mention that Doc Ellis pitched a No-Hitter while tripping balls, but not a perfect game.


Yeah, I was eager to mention that too.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2009


uaudio: umissed the obvious title for this post.

Pitch. Perfect.

/treppenwitz
posted by yiftach at 2:08 PM on July 23, 2009


I don't think anyone will be able to beat his pickup line for tonight:
"Who's got two thumbs and just pitched a perfect game? This guy!"
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 2:10 PM on July 23, 2009


> I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.

Perfect games lost to the 27th batter
posted by ardgedee at 2:14 PM on July 23, 2009


I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.

This happened to Mike Mussina at least twice. The second time, Mussina was pitching for the Yankees against the Red Sox. He got the first 26 guys out before Carl Everett broke it up with a single. Mussina's opponent that day? David Cone, who pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in '99.
posted by thebergfather at 2:14 PM on July 23, 2009


Good grief. That's amazing.

Stavrogin, check the bottom of the wikipedia link for a list of near-perfect games.
posted by Night_owl at 2:14 PM on July 23, 2009


YAY! Go Buerhle! Go Wise!

(and of course, the game wasn't on WGN, so I was watching the Tigers' offensive futility.)
posted by jlkr at 2:16 PM on July 23, 2009


Also, does someone want to explain to me how Addie Joss could pitch a perfect game in only 74 pitches?
posted by Night_owl at 2:17 PM on July 23, 2009


Oh, for the days of relaxed airport security.

actually airport security was already strict in the mid-80s. . .


Pedantry round two: The game was in 1970, Ellis just revealed the story about the lsd in '84.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:17 PM on July 23, 2009


Don't forget the saddest almost-perfect, from Wikipedia:
On June 3, 1995, Martínez pitched nine perfect innings in a game against the San Diego Padres, before giving up a hit in the bottom of the 10th inning. He was immediately removed from the game, and was the winning pitcher in Montreal's 1–0 victory.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:18 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, does someone want to explain to me how Addie Joss could pitch a perfect game in only 74 pitches?

Strictly speaking, you could do it in 27 - you don't have to strike everybody out, they just can't reach base safely for any reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2009


Dave Stieb of the Blue Jays gave up a perfect game with two-outs in the 9th in 1989, not to mention blowing a no-hitter with 2-outs in the 9th in two consecutive starts in 1988.

Probably because he wore his arm with the constant jock adjustment after every single toss. The dude's itch count and pitch count were always the same.
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the saddest almost-perfect, from Wikipedia:

I dunno, I think Harvey Haddix had it worse:
Haddix carried a perfect game through an unprecedented 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, only to have it ruined when an error by third baseman Don Hoak allowed Felix Mantilla, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 13th inning, to reach base. ... Haddix, and the Pirates, had lost the game 1-0. This is seen as one of the most agonizing of all baseball defeats, especially as the Pirates had 12 hits in the game but could not bring a run home.
posted by kmz at 2:22 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


With the Rays's relative awesomeness, it's a top 5 perfect game. Koufax's was probably the best and RJ's was possibly one of the best too.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 2:23 PM on July 23, 2009


Oh, for the days of relaxed airport security.

A seasoned LSD user could most likely pass through TSA security checkpoints with no problem today. It's not like they check everyone's pupils while they stamp boarding passes.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:24 PM on July 23, 2009


A seasoned LSD user could most likely pass through TSA security checkpoints with no problem today. It's not like they check everyone's pupils while they stamp boarding passes.

I've gone through airport security completely drunk many times. Indeed, I never get hassled - they think I'm a pilot and waive me through.
posted by allen.spaulding at 2:27 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


> Highlight of the Wise perfecto-saving catch (might not work in Firefox). Wowee wow wow!

Wow indeed—thanks for that.

> Don't forget the saddest almost-perfect

Yeah, Haddix's was much, much worse.
posted by languagehat at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2009


Dang. As a die hard StL fan I am honor-bound to assume that all Chicagoans are worse than Baby-Eating Hitler, but congratulations to him and the fans. That there's a rare treat.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Perfect games lost to the 27th batter

Oh, wikipedia. I love you. Is there anything you don't already have listed for us?
posted by hippybear at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2009


I'm a Cubs fan, but Mark Buehrle's one of my favorite pitchers, mainly because he works so fast.

Also, Ernie Shore's should count.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 2:39 PM on July 23, 2009


Strictly speaking, you could do it in 27

Strictly speaking, you could do it without throwing a single pitch. Every batter would have to come to the plate with an illegal bat and be called out for it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will never happen, but it's possible.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:41 PM on July 23, 2009


This is an amazing achievement, and truly historic...

But did it have to be the $%^*in' White Sox? On a day where Detroit loses to the Mariners 2-1 for the second game in a row...it's just a bitter taste, is all. Especially since they've effectively tied the Tigers with this performance.

Still. Congratulations to Mr. Buehrle.
posted by HostBryan at 2:46 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Not that Darrin Jackson is a good announcer, but it's all Hawk Harrelson. That dude is so bad he almost makes me prefer the Cubs.

Almost.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:47 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perfect games are probably harder to come by these days because complete games are less common due to pitcher rotation and specialization.

Bugs Bunny struck out three guys on a single pitch. If he'd used the same pitch in each inning of a full game he could have a perfect game in 9 pitches. (He was brought in in the fourth in that game.)

Highlight of the Wise perfecto-saving catch

Great fucking catch.

Perfect games lost to the 27th batter

Losing a perfect game because you hit the 27th batter with the pitch? Ouch.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:48 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


With the Rays's relative awesomeness, it's a top 5 perfect game. Koufax's was probably the best and RJ's was possibly one of the best too.

Don Larson may not be the best pitcher to ever throw a perfect game, but he's the only guy to do it in the World Series (hell, he's the only guy to throw a no-hitter in the post season), and he did it against a line-up that included Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella.
posted by thebergfather at 2:48 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


That catch might just have displaced this one by Rusty Greer for best perfect game saver in the 9th inning.
posted by shadow vector at 2:51 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Strictly speaking, you could do it without throwing a single pitch. Every batter would have to come to the plate with an illegal bat and be called out for it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will never happen, but it's possible.

I would really fucking enjoy watching this game.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


PepsiBlueBallsNewsFilter?
posted by Big_B at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2009


I'd say this will never happen, but it's possible.

could happen if the umpire took LSD before the game . . .
posted by @troy at 2:55 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Strictly speaking, you could do it without throwing a single pitch. Every batter would have to come to the plate with an illegal bat and be called out for it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will never happen, but it's possible.

It could be done as the baseball equivalent of this.
posted by xmutex at 2:55 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


A tremendous sporting achievement; this has happened only 19 times in the history of major league baseball.

More importantly, this has happened only three times in the history of MetaFilter.
posted by oaf at 3:04 PM on July 23, 2009


Heh. When I saw this, my first thought was, Oh, man, they're playing the Tigers, aren't they? No, no, that starts tomorrow. Maybe the Tigs can buy a bat by then.
posted by klangklangston at 3:08 PM on July 23, 2009


A thought just occured: isn't this is the first pitcher to throw a perfect game who won't get any congratulatory telegrams?
posted by Malor at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2009


Was the last batter he faced the first last batter in a perfect game to potentially have a youtube video posted wherein he is played off by keyboard cat?
posted by found missing at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think Perfect Games should be the cause of a nationwide day of celebration. In this case I am going to eat a giant hot dog with pickles, tomatoes, relish, and celery salt while drinking an Old Style.

I can't wait to hear Barack (I'm not just the most famous White Sox fan in the world, I'm also the President) Obama's take on this.
posted by dirtdirt at 3:25 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or is Old Style a northside thing? I'd hate to offend...
posted by dirtdirt at 3:25 PM on July 23, 2009


I knew Sandy Koufax. You, sir, are no Sandy Koufax.
posted by Danf at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2009


A thought just occured: isn't this is the first pitcher to throw a perfect game who won't get any congratulatory telegrams?

Huh? Did Randy Johnson receive a telegram in 2004?
posted by xmutex at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2009


xmutex: "Huh? Did Randy Johnson receive a telegram in 2004?"

Unlikely, but he could have, since Western Union didn't retire them until January 2006.
posted by Plutor at 3:36 PM on July 23, 2009


This is also a pretty amazing story:

The evening was highlighted by the relief performance of Austin Wood. The Longhorns left-hander entered the game with one out and a runner on second base in the seventh inning and proceeded to pitch 12.1 innings before yielding a hit. For the game, Wood pitched 13.0 scoreless innings, scattering two hits and four walks while striking out a career-high 14. He logged 169 pitches on the evening.

Seriously -- can you imagine being brought in during the 7th inning, then going 12 1/3 innings hitless? you know the guy was out there wondering why the hell his team couldn't just score a damn point. Crazy game.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2009


couldn't just score a damn point.

RUN. Score a damn run.

(mutters to himself)
posted by Justinian at 3:57 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Don't sweat it...my favourite baseball squadron didn't score enough points to win last night's match.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


One of the things I like about baseball is the history of ridiculous stat-tracking. If you wanted to find how many other perfect games were saved in the ninth by a catcher, you probably can. Or, perfect games completed in x hours. Or perfect games before 3PM eastern. Perfect games on a Thursday. In July. Between 70-75 degrees.
posted by graventy at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Perfect games are probably harder to come by these days because complete games are less common due to pitcher rotation and specialization.

This theory doesn't stand up to the facts (fully half of all perfect games have been thrown in the last 25 years alone) or a dash of baseball sense:

It doesn't matter how many specialists are available, a manager's still not going to bring down the wrath of the fans, the press, and baseball kismet itself by removing a pitcher who is in the middle of a perfect game.

Invariably, a pitcher is left in a no-hitter even when he's obviously on fumes with his arm is falling off... until he gives up a hit.

Compete games are way down, for the reason you mention, but there will be no impact on no-hitters or perfect games. Increasingly, those are the only complete games we now see.
posted by rokusan at 4:08 PM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I had tickets to Tom Browning's Perfect game for the Reds in '88, but Dad didn't want to go to the game.
posted by Mick at 4:19 PM on July 23, 2009


I wasn't at the park, but I was working the sports desk when Dennis Martinez threw his perfect game.

At about the fourth inning, our writer at the park called in for questions on his notes article, submitted prior to the main game article.

"How's the game?" I asked.

"Boring as hell. The Dodgers are scoreless through four."

At the sixth inning, he called back.

"Umm, shit. Martinez is perfect through six."

I got calls at the seventh and eighth. By that time, we had the TV on.

Great stuff.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:24 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Invariably, a pitcher is left in a no-hitter even when he's obviously on fumes with his arm is falling off... until he gives up a hit.

There was that game a few years ago where the Astros used six pitchers to no-hit the Yankees.
posted by dfan at 4:26 PM on July 23, 2009


How freaking cool. Buehrle's already the type of player that makes me proud to be a Sox fan, and now even more so.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:31 PM on July 23, 2009


> my favourite baseball squadron didn't score enough points to win last night's match

Was the wicket by any chance sticky, old top?
posted by languagehat at 4:32 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


RUN. Score a damn run.

(mutters to himself)


Arrgh. I blame the heat. My brain is being gently simmered in its own juices.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:32 PM on July 23, 2009


Invariably, a pitcher is left in a no-hitter even when he's obviously on fumes with his arm is falling off... until he gives up a hit.

not quite invariably

it's all Hawk Harrelson. That dude is so bad he almost makes me prefer the Cubs.

You're not alone in the sentiment.

Haddix: The Greatest Game Ever Pitched
posted by stargell at 4:35 PM on July 23, 2009


Cool Papa Bell: interesting write-up. The difference an amazing feat that is accomplished rarely and a boring game is a few innings, and a perfect streak can end with a single hit.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2009


"Strictly speaking, you could do it without throwing a single pitch. Every batter would have to come to the plate with an illegal bat and be called out for it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this will never happen, but it's possible."
*spits chaw*
*depresses clubhouse intercom*
'RON! SEND THE FU...!!!'
*clears throat*
'Uh, Ron, can you send the equipment manager up here? Yeah. Double pronto.'
*cracks knuckles*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think my two favorite parts of that amazing Dwayne Wise catch were

A) The giant sucking sound when the ball was hit like the whole place went on "mute". The stadium went from a load roar to quiet as a church, then nuts again when Wise made the catch. And what a catch! Made all the more amazing by the bobble and save, when you know time must have been slowed down and sped up at the same time for him!

B) The video clearly shows at least a couple of guys reaching out to catch the ball, who when Wise caught it were as ecstatic as everyone else about the catch. Um, guys? Not a good time to reach for the homerun ball; if you had actually caught that ball before it reached Wise's glove, you probably aren't leaving the stadium alive...
posted by hincandenza at 4:52 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to hear Barack (I'm not just the most famous White Sox fan in the world, I'm also the President) Obama's take on this.

Here ya go, dirtdirt: Obama calls Buehrle after perfect game.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:58 PM on July 23, 2009


stavrogin: I want to see a list of people who were on the way to having a perfect game, but gave away a hit in the 9th inning.

thebergfather: This happened to Mike Mussina at least twice.

And I was there for the first of those two, a humid Baltimore evening at Camden Yards in 1997. Moose was pitching for the Orioles against the Cleveland Indians on a team that included Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Bordick, BJ Surhoff, Chris Hoiles, Brady Anderson, Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar (whose brother Sandy scored the 9th-inning hit that ended it). I was there with my Dad and a British friend who had never been to a baseball game. The British friend initially thought Mussina was being booed, but really it was the sound of a whole stadium calling "MOOOOSE! MOOOOOOSE!!" at every strikeout.

I remember the dark sky and the beams of the white lights diffusing from the moisture in the air, illuminating the white uniform of the lone man on the mound. I remember the thread-thin silence on each wind-up, and the audible exhalations after. The dastardly Clevelanders called all their timeouts and tried everything to put Mussina off his rhythm, but he showed no frustration and kept going through the sixth inning (when a starting pitcher may sieze up), the seventh (when you take him out, or he starts to hurt), the eighth (when any sane man would be back in the bullpen)...

When Sandy Alomar connected and got to first, Moose's only reaction was to turn slowly and walk back to the dugout. Just turned and went. We were all on our feet, of course. I'll never forget it.

For years afterwards, in DC, all you had to do was refer to "the night Mussina almost pitched a perfect game" and people's eyes would light up with that combination of inspiration and melancholy. I can't even imagine how Moose himself must have felt about it. But I know this: though I'm no major-league singer, when I'm waiting in the dark to go onstage and take my first breath in with a hall full of people watching to see if I'll fail, I think of that night and Mike Mussina.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:10 PM on July 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


The phrase "perfect game" sticks in my craw. I would consider a truly perfect game to not only be a no-hitter with no one one base, but it would be 27 pitches, all strikes.
posted by chimaera at 5:16 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Excellent. Jonathan Sanchez got close a few weeks ago vs. the Padres (into the 8th inning) until Juan Uribe flubbed a grounder. There's been some good pitching this month.

Just like Buehrle, Sanchez also had his no hitter saved in the 9th inning by a great catch from his center fielder. Rowand's catch wasn't quite as good as Wise's but the effect on the crowd was exactly the same.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 5:18 PM on July 23, 2009


While not a perfect game, one of my favorite no-hitters occurred against the White Sox, when the Yankees' Andy Hawkins threw one at the old Kaminski Park in 1990, and ended up losing 4-0. The next year, Hawkins lost the no-hitter designation due to a new ruling by baseball that stated a pitcher must throw for nine complete innings; since Hawkins was the visitor and the White Sox won that game, Hawkins threw for eight innings...and now no longer has an official no-hitter to his credit. It's not as sad as Dennis Martinez or Harvey Haddix, but it's in the sadness penumbra.

--The W
posted by stannate at 5:25 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was kind of disappointed in how quiet the crowd was at the start, actually, like the place was half empty or something. It wasn't like a world series game. The whole silence... catch... ROAR thing was impressive though.

B) The video clearly shows at least a couple of guys reaching out to catch the ball, who when Wise caught it were as ecstatic as everyone else about the catch.

The only fan who was even close put his hands down at his sides, palms forward. Basically, everything he could do to avoid it at all costs. There was one idiot making a lunge at it from miles away, but he might as well have been behind home plate for all the difference he could make.

And ya, those announcer's are terrible.
posted by Chuckles at 5:36 PM on July 23, 2009


Not that Darrin Jackson is a good announcer, but it's all Hawk Harrelson. That dude is so bad he almost makes me prefer the Cubs.

"Former Cy Young Award Winner Steve "Stone Pony" Stone" is Harrelson's partner now. Jackson moved over to radio.

The phrase "perfect game" sticks in my craw. I would consider a truly perfect game to not only be a no-hitter with no one one base, but it would be 27 pitches, all strikes.

You'd be waiting a long time for a game like this. 27 pitches = 3 per inning, meaning each batter would have seen only one pitch, meaning each had to have swung and hit that pitch for an out, meaning the pitches could not have been called strikes.

Kaminski Park

::head explodes::
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:41 PM on July 23, 2009


that's pretty fuckin awesome baseball right there.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:45 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since 1876 that's about:
0.0049% of all games were perfect
or 1 out of every 20,440 games were perfect
or if you watched every one of the 81 home games your favorite team plays during the regular season you would, on average, see a perfect game once every 252.35 years.
posted by vapidave at 5:55 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I believe it was Cecil Adams who said something to the effect of "to quibble about the number of pitches in a perfect game is to question the number of brush strokes in the Mona Lisa. The sum doesn't change the masterpiece."
posted by maxwelton at 6:03 PM on July 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


SuperSquirrel :Kaminski Park
::head explodes::


No, it's the scoreboard that explodes.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:04 PM on July 23, 2009


Which is more rare, statistically speaking: a pitching a perfect game in baseball or hitting a double eagle in golf? Just wondering.....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:11 PM on July 23, 2009


He is a true hero!
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:24 PM on July 23, 2009


The phrase "perfect game" sticks in my craw. I would consider a truly perfect game to not only be a no-hitter with no one one base, but it would be 27 pitches, all strikes.

So your perfect game would only be 3 innings long?
posted by DigDoug at 6:24 PM on July 23, 2009


Congrats Mark! Its amazing to pitch a perfect game. Unfortunately for me 3 of my players went 0-5 in the game to bring my team average down even more. I still wish I could have seen the game.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:49 PM on July 23, 2009


GO YOU WHITE SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Ironmouth at 6:52 PM on July 23, 2009


When I heard that a White Sox pitcher threw a perfect game, I couldn't wait to get home and listen to Hawk Harrelson's calls. And, boy, I certainly was not disappointed.

Let's recap the 9th inning:
1st out: Wise's catch. Hawk screaming and ending with a MERCY!
2nd out: HE GONE!
3rd out: YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

Long live The Hawk (as long as he's not announcing for my team).
posted by mathlete at 6:56 PM on July 23, 2009


I would consider a truly perfect game to not only be a no-hitter with no one one base, but it would be 27 pitches, all strikes.

Oh, you nay-sayers... that's actually possible as stated, if only technically, since a batted ball in play is by definition a strike. 27 ground-outs, fly-outs, pop-ups... in any combination. That would be a 27-pitch, 27-strike perfect game.

But he probably meant 27 strikeouts, which, yeah, is at least 81 pitches and probably many, many more than that.

As for not liking the term... well, a pitcher's job is to get outs and not give up runs. To do the former for a complete game while being perfect on the latter is pretty damn perfect. That's a complete game shutout, and from a team perspective that is as good as it gets. The pitcher has done exactly everything right, everything within his control. A perfect outing, really.

These exotic and "better" CGSOs (the no-hitter and the perfect game) are really no different or better for the team... they're just icing on top for personal stats and glory.
posted by rokusan at 6:58 PM on July 23, 2009


Which is more rare, statistically speaking: a pitching a perfect game in baseball or hitting a double eagle in golf? Just wondering.....

Not sure about that one, but in baseball, the unassisted triple play is even rarer than a perfect game.
posted by kmz at 6:58 PM on July 23, 2009


Highlight of the Wise perfecto-saving catch (might not work in Firefox). Wowee wow wow!

It should also be noted that Wise was a defensive replacement who just came in for the ninth. That's quite a spot to be in: coming in cold off the bench into a perfect game specifically for your defense.
posted by mathlete at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2009


And ya, those announcer's are terrible.

Hawk is the best announcer bar none. He's not just a play by play man, he's a former player. That means that both the play by play guy and the color guy are former players.

I will never forget one long rain delay in Baltimore. Hawk, with his former partner, Tom "Wimpy" Paciorek were calling the game. Rather than show the standard "The greatest season ever" movie, they sat on stools in the booth and announced they were going to do a segment entitled "Bat and Ball." The two sat there with a ball and bat and gave a top notch seminar on how certain pitches are thrown, what they look like to the batter, how they interact with the bat and more. About 10 minutes in, a form moved into frame behind them. It was Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, who did color for the Orioles back then. Hawk invited him to sit down and tell about how he pitched. Palmer sat down and detailed the grips for each pitch and how the ball would fly and interact with the batter and his bat. It was an amazing demonstration.

And his new partner, the Stone Pony, Steve Stone, is tremendous. He points out all the little details that make this game more than just a bat and a ball. Where the runners are, what they are doing, every little think.

Sure, people hate Hawk for being a homer. But frankly, I prefer to watch my home team with announcers that are totally rooting for my team. I watch a lot of games and 90% of those announcers suck. The play by play guys know nothing about the game and just say trivial boring stuff and tell you nothing about what is going on. Give me 100 Hawk Harrelsons any day.

Oh yeah, the most powerful man on earth is a huge White Sox fan.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:04 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


BTW the win resulted in the White Sox tying the Tigers for the division lead.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:05 PM on July 23, 2009


Every time I hear about Dock Ellis's no hitter, I get "ohhhhh Dock Ellis" in a husky female voice stuck in my head.

http://www.google.com/search?q=barbara+manning+dock+ellis

Take a trip one summers day
Don't forget, you have to play
Padres knew the no-no ball
Scared the fuck out of 'em all

Watch his wrist as it snaps back
The ball is gone in a flash

Ooh, Dock Ellis
Ooh, Dock Ellis
Ooh, Dock Ellis
Ooh, Dock Ellis

posted by intermod at 7:29 PM on July 23, 2009


since a batted ball in play is by definition a strike

Say what again?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:41 PM on July 23, 2009


Not only that but Hawk Harrelson invented the batting glove.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2009


Hawk is the best announcer bar none. He's not just a play by play man, he's a former player. That means that both the play by play guy and the color guy are former players.

And the both absolutely suck, largely considered a joke by anyone outside of chicago.

And former players? So are Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver. Anyone with any depth of baseball knowledge knows 90 percent of what they give as commentary is crap.

Being able to hit or throw a baseball doesn't translate to much of anything else, including coaching.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 7:50 PM on July 23, 2009


The phrase "perfect game" sticks in my craw. I would consider a truly perfect game to not only be a no-hitter with no one one base, but it would be 27 pitches, all strikes.

I think it's actually (for lack of a better word) perfect, because it is the most "perfect" thing a pitcher can accomplish, in any sort of reality: 27 batters, 27 outs. Sure, 27 strikeouts would be more perfect but it'll never happen.

The batter's goal: get on base. The pitcher's goal: prevent that. When he does it to every batter, it's perfect.
posted by ORthey at 7:57 PM on July 23, 2009


Which is more rare, statistically speaking: a pitching a perfect game in baseball or hitting a double eagle in golf? Just wondering.....

Some stats: "Between 1983 to 2003, there were 631 aces on the PGA Tour but just 56 double-eagles." If you want really rare, there is the condor (4-under-par), but that is kind of silly, since it's nearly impossible to reach the green from the tee on a straight hole.
posted by smackfu at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2009


The batter's goal: get on base. The pitcher's goal: prevent that. When he does it to every batter, it's perfect.

By far the most parsimonious explanation of a perfect game I've heard. I cheerfully withdraw my previous grumbling.
posted by chimaera at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2009


Meh. I used to do this all the time on Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball for the N64.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:13 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does Steve Nebraska know about this?
posted by LiliaNic at 8:16 PM on July 23, 2009


since a batted ball in play is by definition a strike

Say what again?


In the world of pitch counts, every pitch is either a ball or a strike. A batted ball is a strike.
posted by mathlete at 8:19 PM on July 23, 2009


Sure, people hate Hawk for being a homer.

No, it's because he's a crappy announcer. People love Dave Niehaus, who's a big homer, because he's a good announcer. I mean, he's got a talking bottle opener.

Would you want to open your beer with an opener that shouted "HE GONE!"? No, I didn't think so.
posted by dw at 8:21 PM on July 23, 2009


Which is more rare, statistically speaking: a pitching a perfect game in baseball or hitting a double eagle in golf? Just wondering.....

A double eagle could be done by sinking a hole in one on a par 4. This is a weekly occurrence in regular, amateur play around the country, especially on short courses. Wikipedia says this score has been recorded more than 80 times since 1970 on the PGA Tour.

You could get a triple eagle, a hole in one on a par 5, but you need some ungodly luck for that. Like, a windy day where you hit a cart path and get some weird-ass bounce.

Rarer than either, and actually requiring a lot of skill, still is the double eagle that occurs when you sink your second shot on a par 5. I've heard that called an "eagle 3." It takes a lot of skill because you'd be using a long iron or a fairway wood from a fairway lie, not off a tee.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:24 PM on July 23, 2009


Anyways, those golf accomplishments aren't really comparable, even if they were equally rare. There is no pressure or stress involved in a hole-in-one. Just luck on something you are just doing normally.
posted by smackfu at 8:35 PM on July 23, 2009


Hawk is the best announcer bar none. He's not just a play by play man, he's a former player. That means that both the play by play guy and the color guy are former players.

As mentioned, Joe Morgan is a former player. He's been giving us more gems recently.

The play by play guys know nothing about the game and just say trivial boring stuff and tell you nothing about what is going on.

When the Sox, er Good Guys, are losing, Hawk doesn't usually say much about what's going on. Or when an umpire makes a questionably correct call that goes against the Sox, he'll keep talking about it as if that one call was why the Sox lost 10-1. He also mostly speaks in canned phrases: HE GONE, GAS, BALL FOUR BASE HIT, HE'LL GRAB SOME BENCH, STRETCH, MERCY, GET UP, RIGHT SIZE WRONG SHAPE, GET FAIR, GET FOUL, YES!, DADGUMMIT, and so on.

And his new partner, the Stone Pony, Steve Stone, is tremendous.

I am a fan of Steve Stone, though I wish he was still with the Cubs since I grew up watching Harry and Steve.
posted by mathlete at 8:38 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a baseball fan, I think this is so fucking cool. It's the best of what baseball's about to me; not only the pitcher at the top of his game but the rest of his team is working together. Well-oiled machine and all that.

As a Cubs fan, aw, goddamn. I do not want to hear about this for the next million years.
posted by sugarfish at 8:59 PM on July 23, 2009


Jim Bunning (R-KY) has become a terrible senator, but he was a terrific pitcher for the Phillies long long ago. I watched his perfect game on TV in June of 1964, especially appropriate since it was Father's Day, and he has nine children.

The Wiki (speaking of statistics) says that Bunning is also one of only six pitchers to throw a no-hitter in addition to his perfect game, one of five to throw a no-hitter in each league, and only the tenth in history to throw a 9-pitch, 3-strikeout half inning.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:17 PM on July 23, 2009


As a baseball fan, I think this is so fucking cool. It's the best of what baseball's about to me; not only the pitcher at the top of his game but the rest of his team is working together. Well-oiled machine and all that.

As a CubsRays fan, aw, goddamn. I do not want to hear about this for the next million years.


I still can't believe I missed this! I even worked from home today!
posted by dirigibleman at 9:28 PM on July 23, 2009


Being able to hit or throw a baseball doesn't translate to much of anything else, including coaching.

Or running a baseball team. Harrelson, after all, was the genius who fired Tony LaRussa as Sox manager in his one disastrous year as G.M.

Apologies for the Harrelson derail, but that's how much he grates on people.
posted by stargell at 9:39 PM on July 23, 2009


Regarding the perfect perfect game, I like Cecil Adams's take.
posted by clorox at 9:59 PM on July 23, 2009


Anyone with any depth of baseball knowledge knows 90 percent of what they give as commentary is crap.

Really, you have more baseball knowledge than a man who played 900 games in the majors? How did that come about? From your incessant watching of baseball on TV? Your incredible high school career? Harrelson hit 131 homers in the bigs. Did you ever lead the American Leauge in RBI? Yet you know more about baseball than he does? You're going to have to give more than an off-hand dis to prove that to me. I guess everybody's an expert these days.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2009


Did you ever lead the American Leauge in RBI?

Sure, but technically it was a strike-shortened season.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:54 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Really, you have more baseball knowledge than a man who played 900 games in the majors?

In reference to Joe Morgan? I don't doubt that the poster does. Morgan is forever stuck in the days of yore and has absolutely lost touch with the more modern (and correct) way to watch and analyze baseball. It became so embarrassing that he had a blog created in his honor - the now defunct Fire Joe Morgan. (Previously)
posted by Sandor Clegane at 12:14 AM on July 24, 2009


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posted by fourcheesemac at 4:20 AM on July 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


could someone please explain to me what a perfect game in relation to baseball is? I always thought it was about cheap rice-beer, overpriced hot dogs and enjoying an afternoon with your friends mocking those fatter than yourself.
posted by krautland at 5:40 AM on July 24, 2009


Really, you have more baseball knowledge than a man who played 900 games in the majors?

In reference to Joe Morgan?


He's talking about Hawk Harrelson. Joe Morgan played in many, many more games.
posted by mathlete at 5:58 AM on July 24, 2009


could someone please explain to me what a perfect game in relation to baseball is?

A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. Thus, the pitcher (or pitchers) cannot allow any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or any opposing player to reach base safely for any other reason—in short, "27 up, 27 down". [*]
posted by elfgirl at 6:48 AM on July 24, 2009


A dear friend of mine attended her first MLB game in 1965. She reported that she was bored out of her mind because there was so little scoring. Her husband, of course, is still walking on air that he saw Sandy Koufax' perfect game in 1965 (9/9/1965, Dodgers 1, Cubs 0).

Ah, perspective.
posted by Man with Lantern at 7:28 AM on July 24, 2009


elfgirl: pitcher, pitches, innings, hits, walks, batsmen, 27up, 27down ... noble effort but you leave me with about the same understanding as that ikea assembly chart I thought I had understood before I spent four hours finding out I really hadn't. which is to say: the wikipedia is crap. it only works for someone who already knows about baseball, which I don't. but thanks for linking it again.
posted by krautland at 7:36 AM on July 24, 2009


elfgirl: "in short, "27 up, 27 down""

It's interesting to note that this is actually the third time that Buehrle has pitched a complete game shutout and faced exactly 27 batters. The first was a two-hitter in 2004, when both baserunners subsequently were part of double-plays. (He also only threw 90 pitches in that game.) The second was his no-hitter in 2007, which would have been perfect if it weren't for the walk that he issued to Sammy Sosa (who he then proceeded to pick off at first). The third was, obviously, yesterday.

Also, no one else has done that three times.
posted by Plutor at 7:41 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


krautland: "it only works for someone who already knows about baseball, which I don't. but thanks for linking it again."

Either this the kind of thing where you only want to snark about how cool you are for not knowing baseball, since you've clearly made no effort to educate yourself; or you should start by reading this, which does a quite good job of explaining pitches, innings, hits, walks, and batters.
posted by Plutor at 7:51 AM on July 24, 2009


elfgirl: pitcher, pitches, innings, hits, walks, batsmen, 27up, 27down ... noble effort but you leave me with about the same understanding as that ikea assembly chart I thought I had understood before I spent four hours finding out I really hadn't. which is to say: the wikipedia is crap. it only works for someone who already knows about baseball, which I don't. but thanks for linking it again.

Imagine a Metafilter user named pitcher who, on one particular day, posted a FPP, replied to every other FPP, replied to every AskMe question, organized a Meetup on the same day, posted their latest project to Projects, and scanned the Jobs listings.

Further imagine that their FPP was favorited by everyone and put on the sidebar, that every single one of their comments was favorited by everyone, that every single one of their AskMe answers was marked as best answer (and favorited by everyone), that everyone in the area went to the Meetup (that was favorited by everyone), that their project was voted for (and favorited) by everyone, that their project was posted by someone else to mefi (which was then sidebarred... and favorited by everyone), and that, finally, they found their dream job in the Jobs section.

The next day, pitcher was back to being a regular ol' user. But pitcher was already in the history books. He or she had been perfect for one day.
posted by mathlete at 7:54 AM on July 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


From the Cecil Adams link:

Then we have assisted triple plays such as the one on September 7, 1935, when Boston Red Sock Joe Cronin hit a line drive toward third. It bounced off the head of third baseman Odell Hale and into the hands of shortstop Bill Knickerbocker, who started a TP.


I'd love to have seen that!

it only works for someone who already knows about baseball, which I don't.

But you come into baseball threads to boast about your ignorance? If you are actually interested in learning, there are many, many places to start, including Plutor's link.
posted by languagehat at 8:04 AM on July 24, 2009


For the sake of buying into krautland's troll...

Here's an analogy for you: Tennis. One player hits every single serve in bounds and unreturnable by the other player. Every serve wins a point, and the other player is not only completely scoreless at the end of the game, but has never even touched the ball with their racket.

I'd try to find a futbol analogy for you, but there isn't one.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 AM on July 24, 2009


could someone please explain to me what a perfect game in relation to baseball is?

The pitcher did his job exactly (perfectly) right, without a single mistake, for the entire game.

Or to look at it from the other side: the other team got nothing from the pitcher for the whole game. Nothing. Not one hit, not one run, not one walk. Nothing. The team tried 27 times and they failed all 27 times.

(That's your "27 up, 27 down" phrase. They all came up to bat, they all went back and sat down after failing. Three times per inning for nine innings. So that's one complete game of perfect pitching, or if you prefer, one "complete game of perfect-failure" as a hitting team. Same thing, really, but they don't talk about it the second way. I guess it would be too depressing for the losing team.)

This is very rare because even a typical "great" game by a pitcher includes a dozen or two mistakes: the other team will get at least a few runs, or hits, or walks, or something.

(Baseball nerds; please don't point out the sixteen asterisked exceptions to the above broad strokes. I know and you know, okay? That wankery, which I am often guilty of also, is what makes the eyes of non-nerds glaze over. She wanted a simple explanation.)
posted by rokusan at 8:37 AM on July 24, 2009


I'd try to find a futbol analogy for you, but there isn't one.

Association football? I'm sure it's never happened, because it would take a ridiculous improbable sequence, but if it did happen, it would be: the center wins the kick-off and moves downfield. He shoots and scores. Then he does the same on the next kickoff. And the next. And the next, until time expires. The other team has not scored or even touched the ball, and the centerfielder and his team have executed a "perfect game" of football.

(And as a side effect of nothing-but-scoring, the finally tally would be, like, um.... 677-0 or something.)

(This would also work in basketball or hockey.)
posted by rokusan at 8:43 AM on July 24, 2009


Krautland, I have to assume you are being intentionally obtuse. If you know enough about baseball to know about beer and hot dogs you probably know enough to decode Elfgirl's definition.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:44 AM on July 24, 2009


The pitcher did his job exactly (perfectly) right

No question a perfect game is a huge achievement for a pitcher. But in most cases it's a defensive achievement as well, as Dewayne Wise illustrated. I'm not going to say the Pitcher Was Perfect in this case, with Kapler's ball falling for an HR or a double in the hands of most OFs. But Buehrle did pitch a Perfect Game, and it's a hell of a day for southsiders.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:54 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the world of pitch counts, every pitch is either a ball or a strike. A batted ball is a strike.

Huh. I didn't know this. So, in the official box score does the 76 for Buehrle include the pitches that were hit for outs? Or is the pitch count like you are referring to kept as a separate stat?

Pitches-strikes: Kazmir 98-65, Cormier 20-11, Thayer, D 10-7, Buehrle 116-76.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:14 AM on July 24, 2009


I'm not sure why a pitch count would care about whether a pitch was a ball or strike. All that matters from the pitcher's arm's perspective is that the ball was thrown.
posted by smackfu at 9:23 AM on July 24, 2009


SuperSquirrel: "So, in the official box score does the 76 for Buehrle include the pitches that were hit for outs?"

When a pitcher's stat like "116 pitches, 76 for strikes" is used, a strike is essentially "anything that isn't counted as a ball". So pitches that induced a swinging strike, pitches that were called strikes, fouls, and fair balls no matter the end result of the play are all "strikes" as far as that count is concerned.

smackfu: "I'm not sure why a pitch count would care about whether a pitch was a ball or strike. All that matters from the pitcher's arm's perspective is that the ball was thrown."

Pitch count and strike count are related, but not used in the same way. The pitcher is doing his job if he's throwing well or convincing the batter to swing at bad pitches. A pitcher who threw 76/116 did a much better job than one who threw 30/116.
posted by Plutor at 9:29 AM on July 24, 2009


I can see where the confusion comes in though. "Stirke" is being used to mean too different things. The baseball rules only cover the normal definition, an actual strike that the umpire would call.
posted by smackfu at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2009


He's talking about Hawk Harrelson. Joe Morgan played in many, many more games.

My bad. The full quote went like this so I assumed he was talking about Morgan.

And former players? So are Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver. Anyone with any depth of baseball knowledge knows 90 percent of what they give as commentary is crap.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 9:37 AM on July 24, 2009


This. This is why I love baseball.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:02 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another interesting tidbit: the Rays have the highest-ranked offense (currently #3) of all teams who have ever had a perfect game pitched against them.
posted by scody at 12:09 PM on July 24, 2009


I'm not sure why a pitch count would care about whether a pitch was a ball or strike. All that matters from the pitcher's arm's perspective is that the ball was thrown.

When a manager is looking at how long to keep a pitcher in the game, you are right, he is really only considering the total pitch count.

Number of strikes thrown might be used by people to determine how good a pitcher is (e.g. strikes to balls ratio), though the K/BB ratio, which is similar to strikes/balls ratio, is used more often. If you look on Baseball Reference you can see all kinds of stats on pitches (see the Pitch Summary table).
posted by mathlete at 2:07 PM on July 24, 2009


Imagine a Metafilter user named pitcher who, on one particular day, posted a FPP, replied to every other FPP, replied to every AskMe question, organized a Meetup on the same day, posted their latest project to Projects, and scanned the Jobs listings.

Further imagine that their FPP was favorited by everyone and put on the sidebar, that every single one of their comments was favorited by everyone, that every single one of their AskMe answers was marked as best answer (and favorited by everyone), that everyone in the area went to the Meetup (that was favorited by everyone), that their project was voted for (and favorited) by everyone, that their project was posted by someone else to mefi (which was then sidebarred... and favorited by everyone), and that, finally, they found their dream job in the Jobs section.

The next day, pitcher was back to being a regular ol' user. But pitcher was already in the history books. He or she had been perfect for one day.


got it. thanks.
posted by krautland at 3:48 PM on July 24, 2009


No question a perfect game is a huge achievement for a pitcher. But in most cases it's a defensive achievement as well

To further emphasize this, here's the 27 outs in 5½ minutes. Watching this makes clear just how much of a team effort this really is—only 6 of the 27 outs are strikeouts.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:10 PM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


He used his third basemen in the middle innings a bit.. Overall though, except for the one home run that was brought back, he owned that line-up just as thoroughly as if he had struck them all out. All those pop-ups and squibers and everything, that's all pitching.

Great video though. Except we don't get to see if they ever connected well on a foul.. Seems doubtful :)
posted by Chuckles at 9:23 PM on July 24, 2009


Except we don't get to see if they ever connected well on a foul.. Seems doubtful :)

There was a nice one down the third base line that was just barely foul, sometime in the late innings... don't remember who hit it or anything, just saw it in replays.
posted by mdn at 10:02 PM on July 24, 2009


Seems like for the games where you have all the film, you could rank the "perfectness" of the perfect games by the number of defensive plays that, had they not been made, would or would not have been scored as an error.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:22 AM on July 25, 2009


Seems like for the games where you have all the film, you could rank the "perfectness" of the perfect games by the number of defensive plays that, had they not been made, would or would not have been scored as an error.

I think that would be interesting but a little arbitrary. With the Sox being the home team, I could see the official scorer giving an error on everything he could -- within the rules, of course -- just to keep the no-hitter in tact.
posted by mathlete at 6:50 AM on July 25, 2009


Excellent. Jonathan Sanchez got close a few weeks ago vs. the Padres (into the 8th inning) until Juan Uribe flubbed a grounder.

Jonathan Sanchez's performance was actually more impressive than Buehrle's perfect game. Sanchez had to get 28 outs, and he got more strikeouts.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:38 AM on July 25, 2009


Can't imagine anyone following this didn't already hear, but Buehrle pitched again last night and retired the first 17 batters he faced. Combined with the 27 from the perfect game, and the 1 from his start prior to that, he retired a total of 45 batters in a row, setting a new major league record.

Couple of points worth noting:

1. Look at the expression on Bobby Jenks (Buehrle's teammate and previous record co-holder) when Buehrle got #42. He couldn't care less about the record. (Though, in my humble opinion, Jenks's 41 as a closer, spread out over many, many games, is much more impressive than 45 spread out over three starts.)

2. Buehrle came completely unglued shortly thereafter. He was able to get out of the sixth after giving up one run, but then was only able to get one out in the seventh before giving up four more runs and getting the hook, thus taking the loss. I think this really punctuates one of the more intriguing things about perfect games: They're still normal pitchers, not gods. Buehrle, in particular, has had an impressive but not dominant career this far. Odds are, he'll not headed to the HOF, which will make him the first pitcher to have both a perfect game AND a no-hitter to not be elected.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:12 AM on July 29, 2009


SpiffyRob: "I think this really punctuates one of the more intriguing things about perfect games: They're still normal pitchers, not gods."

Better yet, I think it punctuates one of the best things about baseball in general. No matter how good a player or a team is, they can have off-days or off-innings. Seventeen times in his (long) career, the inimitable Nolan Ryan gave up 6 or more runs without finishing the third inning. He twice (1973 and 1979) gave up five runs and only managed one out and once (1993) gave up five without any outs.

Every time any pitcher stands up on the mound and a batter stands in the box, anything can happen. Sure, you can make some pretty good guesses based on statistical analysis, but every pitch is new.
posted by Plutor at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Though, in my humble opinion, Jenks's 41 as a closer, spread out over many, many games, is much more impressive than 45 spread out over three starts.

My opinion is the opposite. I think it's much harder as a starter to retire 45 straight. Starters will get tired and not have their best stuff later in the game. They also have to go through the lineup more than once, so the hitters will have seen them at least once already.

A closer, on the other hand, only has to throw (usually) one inning. That means they can use their best stuff every pitch. (After a few innings, I think Jenks's mph would go down some.) No one has seen him yet in the game, and he sometimes only has to face the bottom of the order. I think that gives the pitcher a slight advantage against the hitter.

Both impressive though.
posted by mathlete at 5:06 AM on July 30, 2009


the 27 outs in 5½ minutes

Fantastic. I cringed every time it was hit to Ramirez at shortstop. He has the weakest arm at that position I have ever seen barring David Eckstein, and with Tampa's speed, it is a wonder they weren't able to hustle out a single.
posted by clearly at 12:48 AM on July 31, 2009


One more incredible accomplishment for Mark Buehrle: his name, CORRECTLY SPELLED AND ONLY CORRECTLY SPELLED, made a Top Trending Topic on Twitter. (not even Obama could do that)
posted by wendell at 1:12 PM on July 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


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