Perfect Games


Wow.

Wow.

Words can’t describe what just occurred in the ninth inning at Comerica Park. Austin Jackson makes the catch of the year for the first out in the ninth to keep Armando Galarraga’s perfect game in tact. Then for the final out—what should have been the final out—first base umpire Jim Joyce blows the call and says Jason Donald is safe at first base. There were multiple things to break down on this final play.

I’m not quite sure where Miguel Cabrera was going to run over and field the grounder that would have been an easy out for the second baseman. Instead of staying on first and allowing Carlos Guillen to get ground the ball, Cabrera ran over, scoop up the ball and fired to Galarraga covering first base. And they still had Donald by a step. Unbelievable. Jackson’s catch won’t be talk about as much as it should be, but making that catch in that pressure situation is unreal. Very Willie Mays style too.

No matter who you were rooting for in this one, you have to feel horrible for Galarraga. He pitched an incredible game that will not go down in the books as a perfect game even though it was one.

I even feel bad for Jim Joyce. You know he will see the replay and feel the worst of anyone. There’s nothing he can do now. That’s the human element of baseball. He made the call and will have to live with it. He’s going to be known as the guy that screwed up the perfect game.

I honestly can’t find any other words besides wow.

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“He’s a different kind of creature than just about anyone else in his profession these days. He’s a pitching monster who seems to have popped out of a time machine, transported into the year 2010 with the mindset of a guy who’d have been very comfortable pitching in 1910.” – Jayson Stark

So did you hear about Roy Halladay’s perfect game by now? Obviously you have because I have no clue how anyone could have missed it. My 10-year-old nephew knew about it, which usually means that’s a pretty big story if he was able to take 10 minutes out of his 18 straight hours of his PSP to watch the event.

Anyway, one of the things I like to do after a historic event like Halladay’s perfect game is to see how all the sports outlets and blogs covered it and the angle they took. Here’s a rundown of numerous links from around the internet baseball world and blogosphere:

ESPN: Jayson Stark writes about how it was a Halladay weekend (get it?). By the way am I the only one who is annoyed by the videos that instantly start running even though you only clicked on the game STORY? I’m supposed to read a story, not hear an ad and then a play. If I want to view the video, I’ll click it, but don’t allow it to automatically start! Ugh, OK I digress.

Yahoo! Sports: This article uses the most hyphens I have ever seen in the lead.

MLB.com writes about how Halladay’s teammates began giving him the cold shoulder about 2pm that afternoon. They also did a great piece on the losing pitcher Saturday night, which is something you usually don’t see when you have someone toss a perfect game. But Marlins starter Josh Johnson pitched great and probably didn’t deserve to lose with the game’s only run being scored on an error, his strong outing will get overshadowed forever because he was not perfect.

SI.com focuses on how Saturday’s perfect game may have only been Halladay’s fourth-best performance ever.

Of course I can’t put together a links post without the great insight from the Baseball-Reference Blog. Their post focuses on some of the overall game scores from Halladay’s career and the other perfect games.

Big League Stew puts together a great (and long) read of 27 thoughts and factoids from the perfecto. My personal favorite was the number two thought: I’m also glad he got out of the postgame mob without breaking a leg. Indeed.

Also, I just want to throw out there that I actually called this perfect game for Halladay—only I called it last week when he was pitching at home against the Pirates. Of course he would lose to the Pirates and Red Sox and then shake those losses off with a perfect game.

Roy Halladay is perfect. No one needed a reminder of how great Halladay is, but he proved it once again by firing the second perfect game of 2010 on a Saturday night against the Marlins in Florida. Doc struck out 11 batters on 115 pitches to keep all 27 Marlins from reaching base in the Phillies 1-0 win for the 18th perfect game in major league history.

Dallas Braden’s perfect game on May 9 made the young pitcher a household name, but Halladay’s gem tonight will go down as his standout performance in his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career.

It’s official now—pitching is indeed back as I wrote about three days ago. Does anyone need more evidence that pitching has taken over in 2010? We’ve only seen perfect games in consecutive years three times in MLB history, and now tonight’s perfecto is the second one in the same month! Going back to Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last year, there’s been three in two seasons. Truly unbelievable. Oh yeah and there also was a regular no-hitter tossed this season by Ubaldo Jimenez.

I have no idea what to expect next in 2010, but this is definitely thrilling to watch.

I bet A-Rod knows the name Dallas Braden now. What a thrill ride season the A’s starting pitcher is already having. Braden turned in an outstanding performance this afternoon in Oakland, setting down the Rays in order for a perfect game.

Braden’s perfecto today is just the 17th in Major League history (yes, 17th…you might hear that it’s the 19th ever, but I don’t count the two that happened in 1880 considering they happened when pitchers were throwing underhand and only 45 feet from home plate).

Braden’s name will forever be linked in the history books with Cy Young, Addie Joss, Charlie Robertson, Don Larsen, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Len Barker, Mike Witt, Tom Browning, Dennis Martinez, Kenny Rogers, David Wells, David Cone, Randy Johnson and Mark Buehrle.

This was the first perfect game since Buehrle’s feat last July against the Rays as well. What’s up with the Rays and perfect games happening against them? There has never been two perfectos in the same season, and the last time two occurred in consecutive seasons was two Yankees—Wells and Cone in ’98 and ’99.

Braden improved to 4-2 in the 4-0 shutout of the Rays. He struck out six batters, obviously walked none on 109 pitches (77 being strikes).

Of course Braden was the pitcher making headlines this past month for flipping out when A-Rod stepped over his mound after an inning-ended double play. This will most likely overshadow the brilliance of his perfect game because he made it no secret that he didn’t think too much of A-Rod. Well, not only does A-Rod know the name, but even the general baseball fan will know Dallas Braden’s name now. And I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t walk across his mound if I were you!