Thursday, July 23, 2009

Zen Dayley: Notes on Buehrle's perfect game!

It's not for nothing Chicago White Sox Mark Buehrle would throw a perfect game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, wait for it, 27 months after he pitched a no-hit, no-run game.

Twenty-seven is numerically symbolic of the number of outs in a baseball game. Seamheads get off on this, especially with the catch one-time Blue Jay Dewayne Wise made in the ninth inning, robbing Gabe Kapler of a home run and then securing the catch with his bare hand after the ball popped loose.

Some other fun facts below the jump:

  • Some say Buehrle is a left-handed Roy Halladay, a pitch-to-contact ace who's automatic for 200 innings a season, except he has a World Series ring. In 2007, Buehrle pitched a game against the Blue Jays where he did not have a single baserunner and lost 2-0 to, wait for it, Halladay, after giving up two solo home runs.

  • Who do Tampa Bay Rays hitters have to face on Friday? Roy Halladay.

  • Buehrle broke with baseball code by talking about the no-hitter in the dugout between innings.

  • It was not the fastest perfect game on record. Mike Witt's (Sept. 30, 1984) and Tom Browning's (Sept. 16, 1988) were both over in less than two hours. Buehrle, though, apparently spent only 32 minute on the mound.

  • The last left-handed pitcher to have two no-hitters in American League was Dutch Leonard. He was a pretty good pitcher with the Boston Red Sox when one of their other main arms was some guy named George Herman Ruth, so you know it was a long time ago.

  • Buehrle had the same home plate umpire that he did in his no-hitter in April 2007, Eric Cooper. He went 27-up, 27-down in that game since he picked off the only baserunner.

  • Wise's saving catch came right in front of an outfield-wall mural which honours 1950s White Sox ace Billy Pierce. On June 27, 1958, Pierce lost a perfect game with two out in the ninth inning.

  • Steve Rosenbloom at Rosenblog: "It’s not a matter of whether the Sox ever retire Buehrle’s number. It’s a question of whether it’s done by morning."

  • Wise was in the opposing dugout for the previous perfecto, Randy Johnson's vs. the Atlanta Braves on May 18, 2004.

  • White Sox catcher Ramon Castro had never caught Buehrle before. He's not the first to do so. Current Pittsburgh Pirates manager John Russell caught one of Nolan Ryan's no-hitters the first time he caught him.

  • No left-hander ever went 27-up, 27-down in the American League until 1994 (Kenny Rogers). Buehrle's was the third by an AL lefty in the past 16 seasons.

  • The cross-town Chicago Cubs are still waiting for their first perfect game. (Are there any other baseball feats that have eluded the Cubs in the past, oh, 100 years?) In a 1972 game, Milt Pappas lost the 27th hitter on a full count when he was squeezed by umpire Bruce Froemming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember Bruce am old Expo fan, only too well.
He was that kind of a@@hole who would do that to a pitcher, especially if he didn't like him.
Of course, what a dummy like Froemming didn't seem to realize is by squeezing Pappas like he did , he took his own name out of the record book.
If Pappas got the perfect game he deserved, Froemming would have been noted as being the home plate umpire in that game.
BTW, I heard the same umpire worked Buehrle's perfect game and his earlier no hitter...coincidence?