What a month it has been in baseball. Jarrod Washburn and Jason Marquis were one and two hits away respectively from perfect games, and last week Jonathan Sanchez was one error away from a perfecto. Now, on July 23rd, Mark Buerhle has done what these other pitchers could not accomplish, and has thrown the 18th perfect game in the history of baseball.
Unbelievably it is the second no-hitter of Buehrle’s career, as he also threw one on April 18th, 2007. He is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson to throw a perfect game, who is coincidently also the last pitcher to throw two no-hitters.
Unfortunately, I was not able to watch the game, but from all accounts it was a 116 pitch gem for the ages. Buehrle struck out six batters and the Rays only managed three line drives, while grounding out eleven times. The highlight of the game was defensive substitution Dewayne Wise elevating at full speed to bring back a Gabe Kapler home run to begin the ninth. Unbelievable.
I could not pick a better guy for this to happen to than Mark Buehrle. He has always been one of my favourite pitchers, and despite his no-hitter remains underrated in my books. He has thrown over 200 innings in each of his eight seasons in the big leagues, and is well on his way to his ninth. He has won 133 games, owns a career 123 ERA+, and has only twice put up a full season ERA over 4.00. He has never been on the disabled list, something which not many starting pitchers can attest too. If there was ever a sure thing every five days, it is Mark Buehrle. Yet he is somehow NEVER mentioned in the discussion of the best pitchers in the league. Heck, he is not even considered an ace by most.
So here is to you Mark Buerhle, enjoy your historic moment.