I threw a perfect game in high school. I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Dan, aka Harry High School, grow up. I don’t care. That’s high school, bro, so turn the page.” I know this, but I have to make a point real quick. The guy I was facing to get the last out was trying to bunt. As much as I wanted to put one in the kid’s back (hypothetically, of course, as I'm not trying to condone throwing at people), I still had to throw the ball over the plate.
One of the many reasons why I believe baseball is the best sport on the planet is the fact that the winning team has to get 27 outs. You can’t burn the clock. You can’t pass the ball around waiting for the game to end. You have to put the ball across the dish. You have to get that 27th out. There’s an old saying in baseball: “The last out is the hardest.” That statement is never truer than it is when a pitcher is throwing a perfect game.
Last night we almost witnessed history in the Fan Cave as Yu Darvish came an out away from throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history. While he did not become that 24th pitcher, Marwin Gonzalez became the 11th hitter to break up a perfect game with two outs in the ninth. Nine of those 11 ended it with a hit, one was walked and the other was a hit by pitch. So that means the guy hitting in the nine hole, facing a guy that is throwing a perfect game, is hitting .264, with a .325 OBP and .422 slugging percentage. For comparison’s sake, last year Mark Trumbo had a line of .268/.317/.491. Granted, it's a small sample size, but that’s absolutely astonishing. That’s a nine hitter on a team that hasn’t reached base one time all game. He’s not the best hitter on the team. He just finds a way to get it done. So while we didn’t see history made in a glorified way, we saw something that’s only been done 11 times in the history of the game. And that’s pretty amazing.