Perfect Games -- Even Imperfect Ones -- Occurring Eerily Often
But for an umpire's imperfect call with two outs in the ninth, Detroit's Armando Galarraga would have had a perfect game today. Roy Halladay of Philadelphia tossed one just last month, as did the Oakland Athletics' Dallas Braden. Two in a month!
Mark Buehrle hurled one last year, and, tragically, if not for an eighth-inning error, the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez would have had one, too.
Baseball is a game where woulda-coulda-shouldas don't account for much, but work with us here. That's two perfect games in a month, followed by the ultimate top-down nightmare of an umpire's blown call costing a pitcher perfection. In short, that's three legitimate perfect games in a span of 20 days, only 10 months after a perfect game, and 10 and a half months after a game in which a pitcher, through no fault of his own, lost a perfect game.
What we're getting at here, is, this ain't normal. Prior to Buehrle's perfect game, no one had tossed one for 10 years. No one threw any between 1922 and '56; 1957 and '68; and 1969 and '81. Now we've had three in less than a year, and should have had five in the same time period. There have only been 20 perfect games since 1904, to put things in perspective.
If you're looking for deeper analysis as to why this might be happening -- we hate to disappoint. We're baffled. But let us be the first to say that this is weird. Cosmically weird. And, considering the way the Giants have been hitting, it's astounding none of these perfect games were tossed against San Francisco.
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