Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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Teammates celebrated Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009 at around 3:10 PM CT.

Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays by retiring all 27 batters he faced on Thursday, July 23, 2009. This event took place in U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois in front of 28,036 fans in attendance. This game took 2:03 from 1:07 PM CT to 3:10 PM CT.

It was the 18th perfect game and 263rd no-hitter in MLB history, 2nd perfect game and 17th no-hitter in White Sox history. The last perfect game in MLB history was on May 18, 2004 when Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitched a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The last time a White Sox pitcher threw a perfect game was on April 30, 1922 when Charlie Robertson pitched it against the Detroit Tigers at Navin Field (later known as Tiger Stadium); that was the 5th perfect game in MLB history.

Buehrle also logged his second career no-hitter; the first was against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007. He became the first pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters since Johnson.[1] Buehrle did this in the midst of setting a Major League record by retiring 45 consecutive batters over three games.[2]

The umpire, Eric Cooper, who stood behind the plate for this perfect game was the same home plate umpire when Buehrle threw his first career no-hitter.[1] Ramón Castro was the catcher.

At the time, the Rays were tied for their second-highest on-base percentage (.343) of any team, so this team has one of the least likelihood of allowing a perfect game.[3] Buehrle's perfect game is the first of three perfect games and the first of four no-hitters allowed by Rays in less than three years — the second was delivered by Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics on May 9, 2010 (Mother's Day) — the third being delivered by Edwin Jackson of the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 25, 2010 — and the fourth being delivered by Félix Hernández on August 15, 2012.[4][5]

Background[edit]

1998 Draft and MLB debut[edit]

Mark Buehrle was a 38th round pick and 1139th overall in 1998 draft pick by the White Sox.[6] Buehrle made his major league debut on July 16, 2000, pitching one inning of relief while allowing a run to Milwaukee Brewers. Then he made his first starting appearance on July 19, pitching seven innings while allowing six hits and two runs to Minnesota Twins.[7]

First career no-hitter[edit]

On April 18, 2007 against the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field, Mark Buehrle threw his first career no-hitter. In that game, he threw 106 pitches and faced 27 batters while allowing just one walk. After allowing a walk to Sammy Sosa in the fifth inning and one out after a 3–1 pitch, he promptly picked off from first while facing the next batter.[8]

This was the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history, first time since August 11, 1991 when Wilson Alvarez threw one at Baltimore Orioles and first at home since September 10, 1967 when Joel Horlen threw one against the Detroit Tigers.[9]

2009 campaign[edit]

Mark Buehrle was the 2009 Opening Day starter, which he took the victory as the Sox beat the Kansas City 4–2. Buehrle won five straight decisions to start the 2009 season. He finished 9–3 before the All-Star break and he was voted to the All-Star Game in Busch Stadium in St. Louis near his hometown, where he pitched a perfect third.[10] After completing his perfect game, Buehrle had an 11–3 pitching record with a 3.28 ERA. Buehrle struggled in succeeding games and he did not get another win until September 7 against the Boston Red Sox.[11] On September 30 in the second game of the doubleheader, Buehrle pitched his final game of the season at Cleveland and he took the victory when the Sox shutout Cleveland 1–0.[12] After his perfecto till the end of his 2009 campaign, he posted a 2–7 record with a 4.78 ERA and he finished the season 13–10 with a 3.84 ERA.[13] He became the only active player to pitch for least 200 innings for nine consecutive seasons after his debut in 2000.[12]

2010 Opening Day and play of the season[edit]

Because he pitched a perfect game in 2009, Buehrle was introduced to be the 2010 Opening Day starter, which is the franchise's record eighth time.[14] In that game, Buehrle took the opener, but incredibly in the fifth inning, Mark Buehrle made a spectacular play when he chased the ball after the Indians batter Lou Marson hit the ball and bounced off his foot and pick it up with his glove and immediately threw backwards between his legs without looking back and Paul Konerko caught that ball with his bare hand for the second out of the inning.[15] This is the #1 play of the season as no other plays beat Buehrle for the remaining six months of the 2010 regular season.[16] In the show Baseball Tonight, Buehrle-Meter is used to estimate the performance of the #1 Web Gems from 1–10 with 10 is just as spectacular as Mark Buehrle's spectacular play on April 5, 2010.[17]

Game[edit]

In the bottom of the second inning with two outs and a 3–1 pitch, Josh Fields hit a grand slam off of Scott Kazmir, giving the White Sox a 4–0 lead.[1] In the bottom of the fifth inning, Scott Podsednik hit a lead-off double. The next batter, Alexei Ramírez, scored Podsednik from second with a double of his own, making it a 5–0 White Sox lead.

Two of the Rays batters hit a foul ball very close to the fair territory down the left field line. Five of the Rays hitters had a full (3-2) count.

Ninth inning[edit]

In the top of the ninth inning, the Rays' leadoff hitter, Gabe Kapler, hit a deep fly ball to left field-center field, where DeWayne Wise made a spectacular catch, taking a home run away from Kapler and saving the perfect game for Buehrle. Wise was a defensive replacement prior to the ninth inning.[1] The next batter, Michel Hernández, struck out swinging on a two-seam fastball with a full (3–2) count. The final batter, Jason Bartlett, hit a ground ball to shortstop Alexei Ramírez, who threw it to first baseman Josh Fields (Paul Konerko was the designated hitter for the day) to finish off the history-making moment at 3:10 PM CT.

Game statistics[18][19][edit]

Linescore[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Rays (52–44) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
White Sox (50–45) 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 5 6 0
WP: Mark Buehrle (11–3)   LP: Scott Kazmir (4–6)
Home runs:
TB: None
CWS: Josh Fields (7)

Boxscore[edit]

Rays AB GO AO SO FO PO LO AVG
B.J. Upton, CF 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 .238
Carl Crawford, LF 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 .310
Evan Longoria, 3B 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 .273
Carlos Peña, 1B 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 .222
Ben Zobrist, 2B 3 1 0 1 1 0 0 .300
Pat Burrell, DH 3 0 1 1 0 0 1 .229
Gabe Kapler, RF 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 .250
Michel Hernández, C 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 .247
Jason Bartlett, SS 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 .338
Totals 27 11 6 6 2 0 2 .268
Rays IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Scott Kazmir (L, 4–6) 6.0 5 5 5 3 5 1 6.69
Lance Cormier 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.65
Dale Thayer 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.26
Totals 8.0 6 5 5 3 6 1 4.16
White Sox AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Scott Podsednik, CF-LF 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 .305
Alexei Ramírez, SS 3 0 2 1 1 0 2 .283
Jermaine Dye, RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .293
Paul Konerko, DH 4 1 1 0 0 0 3 .295
Carlos Quentin, LF 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 .228
DeWayne Wise, CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .196
Gordon Beckham, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .291
Jayson Nix, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .220
Ramón Castro, C 2 1 1 0 1 1 1 .225
Josh Fields, 1B 3 1 1 4 0 0 2 .223
Totals 30 5 6 5 3 6 15 .263

BATTING

  • 2B: Podsednik (12, Kazmir), Ramirez, A (11, Kazmir)
  • HR: Fields (7, 2nd inning off Kazmir, 3 on, 2 out)
  • TB: Podsednik 2; Ramirez, A 3; Konerko; Castro, R; Fields 4
  • RBI: Fields 4 (30), Ramirez, A (47)
  • 2-out RBI: Fields 4
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Quentin; Konerko
  • Team RISP: 3-for-9
  • Team LOB: 5
White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Mark Buehrle (W, 11–3) 9.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 3.28
Totals 9.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 4.15

Other info[edit]

  • HBP: Nix, J by Kazmir
  • Pitches-strikes: Kazmir 98–65, Cormier 20–11, Thayer, D 10–7, Buehrle 116–76
  • Groundouts-flyouts: Kazmir 2–11, Cormier 3–0, Thayer, D 0–2, Buehrle 11–10
  • Batters faced: Kazmir 27, Cormier 4, Thayer, D 3, Buehrle 27
  • Umpires: HP – Eric Cooper, 1B – Mike Reilly, 2B – Chuck Meriwether, 3B – Laz Díaz
  • Weather: 69°, sunny
  • Wind: 7 mph, L to R
  • Time of first pitch: 1:07 PM CT
  • Time: 2:03
  • Attendance: 28,036
  • Venue: U.S. Cellular Field

Play by play[edit]

Broadcaster's reactions[edit]

As Buehrle exited the field after the eighth inning, White Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson exclaimed, "Call your sons! Call your daughters! Call your friends! Call your neighbors! Mark Buehrle has a perfect game going into the ninth!" As the final ground ball of the game rolled towards White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramírez, Harrelson called out: "Alexei?!" As Ramirez completed the throw to first baseman Josh Fields, Harrelson shouted, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! History!"[20]

Though many did not like Harrelson's verbosity and obvious hometown boosterism at the concluding moment of the game,[21] others felt the outburst of emotion captured exactly what they were feeling as the perfect game was sealed.[22]

Aftermath[edit]

With the final out, the White Sox players ran onto the field, hugging each other. President Barack Obama, an ardent White Sox supporter, called Buehrle to congratulate him on his perfect game.[23] Then his wife Jamie and her baby daughter Brooklyn came to the U.S. Cellular Field from their home in suburban Chicago to congratulate Mark. On July 29, 2009, Mark threw 5 23 perfect innings. By retiring former teammate Joe Crede, Buehrle set the new record for consecutive batters retired, beating Jim Barr and teammate Bobby Jenks. Buehrle would then go on to retire the next three batters, before walking Minnesota Twin Alexi Casilla, thus foiling Buehrle's chance of becoming the second pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters (the first being Johnny Vander Meer in 1938) and becoming the first pitcher to ever throw consecutive perfect games, let alone two perfect games. Combined with the last out of one appearance, his perfect game, and the 5 2/3 innings worth of perfection, Mark set the new record at 45 consecutive batters retired.[24] On July 29, 2009 Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declared July 30 "Mark Buehrle Day". On August 4 before the game against the Los Angeles Angels, the White Sox held a special ceremony and provided "perfect game" and "MLB Record-Setting" giveaways for fans attending the Sox-Angels series. This series against the Angels was called "The Buehrle Appreciation Series".[25]

The left field wall where Wise made his ninth-inning home run-robbing catch is marked with the text, "The Catch".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d David Just (2009-07-23). "Buehrle enters record books with perfecto". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  2. ^ Jon Krawczynski (2009-07-28). "Mark Buehrle Sets Perfect Innings Record". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  3. ^ "2009 American League Season Summary". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  4. ^ Ian Ritz (2010-05-09). "Dallas Braden's Perfect Game". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  5. ^ Marc Lancaster (2010-06-25). "Edwin Jackson No-Hits Tampa Bay Rays Despite Eight Walks". MLB Fanhouse. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  6. ^ "38th Round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  7. ^ "Mark Buehrle 2000 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  8. ^ "White Sox Pitcher Mark Buehrle Tosses No-Hitter". NewsMax.com. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  9. ^ Scott Merkin (2007-04-19). "Buehrle an unlikely candidate for no-no". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Mark Buehrle". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  11. ^ "Buehrle gets first win since perfect game as Chicago tops Boston". USA Today. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  12. ^ a b "White Sox Beat Indians 1-0 for Doubleheader Split". Black Christian News. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  13. ^ "Mark Buehrle 2009 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  14. ^ Mark Newman (2010-04-05). "Stage set for full slate of openers". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  15. ^ Jon Heyman (2010-04-06). "Superb Buehrle steals Opening Day spotlight with fielding gem". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  16. ^ "Best of Baseball Tonight Web Gem Awards — Monday, Oct 25, 2010". mReplay Livedash TV Transcript. 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  17. ^ "What is the Buehrle-Meter?". Yahoo! Answers. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  18. ^ "Boxscore: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago White Sox - July 23, 2009". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  19. ^ "July 23, 2009 Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  20. ^ "Buehrle seals perfect game". MLB.com. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  21. ^ Daniel Berkowitz (2009-07-24). "Hawk Harrelson’s Terrible Buehrle Call". MLB BABBLE. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  22. ^ 'Duk (2009-07-23). "Ten reasons we're going nuts over Mark Buehrle's perfect game". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  23. ^ Mark Newman (2009-07-23). "Obama calls Buehrle after perfect game". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  24. ^ Jon Greenberg (2009-07-23). "Just like you, but perfect". ESPN Chicago. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  25. ^ BJ Lutz (2009-07-30). "Happy Mark Buehrle Day!". NBC. Retrieved 2010-07-18.