Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was only one out away when a missed call ruined his chances at pitching a perfect game. For 8 2/3 innings, Galarraga did not allow a single player to reach base… that was until Jason Donald came up to bat and hit a ground ball towards first.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabera fielded the ball then threw it to Galarraga, who was covering first, to get the out…. or at least what Galarraga thought was the out. Umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe much to the dismal of Galarraga, Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland, and the 18,000 fans at Comerica Park.
The Tigers ended up getting the next batter out and won the game 3-0, but after the game Joyce admitted he made the wrong call. “It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the (stuff) out of it. I just cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce said. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw until I saw the replay.”
Only 20 pitchers in MLB history have pitched a perfect game. What is the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game? In a no hitter, no batter reaches base on a hit. However, a batter can get on base if he is walked or reaches on an error. In a no-hitter… like the one Galarraga was robbed of, there are no base runners at all.
Despite the odds being against him, my advice to Galarraga is to make sure Joyce isn’t calling his next game.