July 24, 2009

Perfection

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

To truly grasp how rare a perfect game in baseball really is here is an interesting statistic: More people have orbited the moon than pitchers have thrown perfect games. Amazing, isn’t it?

Yesterday the Chicago White Sox Mark Buerhle joined the elite club by setting down 27 Tampa Bay Rays in order. Every player that came to the plate was turned away by the junk-balling lefty. ESPN did some research and, to demonstrate that Buerhle will never blow anyone away, averaged 86 m.p.h. on his fastball. I’m sure there are 14 year olds that throw that hard, but they’ll likely never have the command that Buerhle had yesterday.

In a perfect game, or a no-hitter, or any game for that matter, defences make pitchers. The guys behind the man on the mound should be just as proud as the hurler after a game like this. Every little ground ball or lazy pop up could have turned a perfect game into just your average one-hitter. The White Sox really stepped up in the field to keep the game going and deserve some kudos.

And, saving the best for nearly last, Dewayne Wise – a defensive substitution – made one hell of a catch off of Pat Burrell to keep the perfect game intact. Subbing in Wise was, well, a wise manoeuvre by Ozzie Guillen to say the least.

With his previous no-no, Buerhle now has two in his career; but I don’t quite think that Nolan Ryan, with his record seven no-hitters, is shaking in his boots, yet.

Buerhle will now be in the record books, and part of sports trivia, forever. He was the 18th man to be, in a word, perfect.

18 Comments

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