Texas Liberal

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On Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game

File:Addie Joss Baseball.jpg

I follow baseball. I don’t write much about baseball in the blog because I feel there is enough attention paid to sports. 

I follow baseball as relaxation. I enjoy the statistics and I know some baseball history. I don’t have any favorite team because I don’t want stress from baseball. I don’t care who wins.

Please allow me to offer comment on Mark Buehrle’s  perfect game of July 23, 2009  A perfect game is when a pitcher allows no runners to reach base for the entire game. In a no-hitter, runners can reach base on errors and walks and in other ways.

( Above–Hall of Famer Addie Joss of Cleveland pitched a perfect game in 1908. He was dead of TB at age 31 in 1911. Please click here to learn about Mr. Joss from a memorial site in his honor at the Watertown, Wisconsin Historical Society.)

A perfect game must be perfect. With Mr. Buehrle’s effort, there have now been just 18 perfect games in 134 seasons of Major League Baseball.

Mr. Buehrle pitches for the Chicago White Sox. The victims of the perfect game were the Tampa Bay Rays. Mr. Buehrle is a very good pitcher who has over the years , without much notice, been making a solid career for himself. Please click here to see Mr. Buehrle’s career statistics.  I think if Mr. Buehrle can keep up what he has done so far for another 6 or 7 seasons that he might merit consideration for the Hall of Fame. 

At the bottom of this post is a list of all perfect games in baseball history. I’d offer two views on this list—

1. Perfect games, while still rare, are not as rare as they once were.  Half of the 18 perfect games have been pitched since 1981. This means the other nine are spread out between 1876 and 1980. From 1922 until 1956 there were none pitched at all.  While Mr. Buehrle is not a strike out pitcher  and had only six strikeouts in his perfect game, I would offer the theory that the shift in recent years towards offenses geared to home run hitting has created a greater chance of perfect games.

There are more strikeouts and more of an all or nothing outcome to at-bats—Strikeouts or home runs with less of everything else. With this the case, the chance is there that a pitcher can put it all together for one outing and blank the opposing team completely.

( Please click here for links to box scores for all perfect games including that of Mr. Buehrle.)

2. Many of the pitchers on the list were good or very good. If you follow baseball you can look at the list and see for yourself. If you don’t– You’ll just have to take my word for it. Though even if you don’t follow baseball, you might know the names Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson. 

You might think  that something that has happened only 18 times in 134 years is a fluke when it does happen. Instead, it seems that being good to start with is of assistance when it comes to pitching a perfect game. 

The list of perfect games—   

 Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009.

Randy Johnson, Arizona at Atlanta (NL), 2-0, May 18, 2004.

David Cone, New York (AL) vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999.

David Wells, New York (AL) vs. Minnesota, 4-0, May 17, 1998.

Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California (AL), 4-0, July 28, 1994.

Dennis Martinez, Montreal at Los Angeles (NL), 2-0, July 28, 1991.

Tom Browning, Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles (NL), 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988.

Mike Witt, California at Texas (AL), 1-0, Sept. 30, 1984.

Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto (AL), 3-0, May 15, 1981.

Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota (AL), 4-0, May 8, 1968.

Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago (NL), 1-0, Sept. 9, 1965.

Jim Bunning, Philadelphia at New York (NL), 6-0, June 21, 1964.

x-Don Larsen, New York (AL) vs. Brooklyn (NL), 2-0, Oct. 8, 1956.

Charles Robertson, Chicago at Detroit (AL), 2-0, April 30, 1922.

Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago (AL), 1-0, Oct. 2, 1908.

Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia (AL), 3-0, May 5, 1904.

John Richmond, Worcester vs. Cleveland (NL), 1-0, June 12, 1880.

John Ward, Providence vs. Buffalo (NL), 5-0, June 17, 1880.

July 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. Can never remember if you were at Browning’s game. Since you didn’t reference it, I guess I now have the answer.

    Comment by Newton | July 25, 2009

  2. Nope—Missed it.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 28, 2009

  3. I wonder if the increase in perfect games ties in at all with artificial fields, which tend to afford a truer bounce, so that there are fewer “bad bounces” and infielders make outs on more balls that are hit at them.

    If true, the effect ought to be discernable (though reduced) in the tally of no-hitters and one-hitters.

    Comment by jbellies | August 6, 2009

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