1,834 days. That's how long it has been since the last perfect game.
3 outs. That's how close we were to breaking that streak tonight.
Well, actually it would have taken many more outs because the Dodgers couldn't score. Logan Forsythe made an error to start the bottom of the 9th in a 0-0 game against the Pirates. Hill still went 9 innings without giving up a hit or walk. Just Forsythe's error. But, then he lost the no-hitter (and game) in the bottom of the 10th on this Josh Harrison walk-off homer.
This game bummed me out so much. Yes, Hill pitched great. There's really no difference between a perfect game and what he did—the defense and offense is out of his control. But, I want to see a perfect game! I was still in college when the last one happened: Felix Hernandez on August 15, 2012. Paul's sons Benson and Sam haven't seen one. Our podcast hasn't covered one. When will the madness end?
To see if this five-year draught is unusual, I charted the 23 perfect games in baseball's history.
- 1880: Lee Richmond, John Montgomery Ward
- 1904: Cy Young
- 1908: Addie Joss
- 1922: Charlie Robertson
- 1956: Don Larsen (WORLD SERIES!!!)
- 1964: Jim Bunning
- 1965: Sandy Koufax
- 1968: Catfish Hunter
- 1981: Len Barker
- 1984: Mike Witt
- 1988: Tom Browning
- 1991: Dennis Martinez
- 1994: Kenny Rogers
- 1998: David Wells (HUNGOVER!!!)
- 1999: David Cone
- 2004: Randy Johnson
- 2009: Mark Buehrle
- 2010: Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay
- 2012: Phil Humber, Matt Cain, King Felix
So, this stretch isn't all that rare. 2004-2009 was longer. 1968-1981 was wayyyyy longer. So was '56-'64, but Larsen's World Series perfect game was enough to hold people over. I can't even imagine 1922-1956.
The 23 perfect games in MLB history were thrown by 23 different pitchers. By contrast, there have been 296 no-hitters thrown by 260 pitchers (only one each in 2016 and 2017, though). When people ask you if there's a big difference between the two, recite those numbers. When will we see a perfect game? How about Chris Sale in the playoffs? Yes, I'd like that.