By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director
Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game Thursday, as the Chicago White Sox picked up the 5-0 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The perfect game was in danger to start the ninth inning when Gabe Kapler ripped a ball to the deep left-centerfield. DeWayne Wise, who came into the inning as a defensive replacement, ran to the warning track, jumped up and made a full extension over the 8-foot wall. The ball hit the webbing of his glove, popped out when he was coming down and landed in his bare hand as he fell to the ground.
Under the circumstances, many consider this one of the best catches of all-time. Wise robbed Kapler of a home run and kept the perfect game in tact. If he didn’t make the catch, the perfect game, no-hitter and shutout would have all been gone.
Ozzie Guillen also looked like a hero. The White Sox manager placed Wise in centerfield, moved Scott Podsednik from center to leftfield and took out leftfielder Carlos Quentin.
Buehrle retired the next two hitters to complete baseball’s 18th perfect game. The left-hander also delivered his second career no-hitter.
These pitchers threw baseball’s unofficial perfect games.
– July 23, 1917 – Ernie Shore came in relief in the first inning after Babe Ruth walked the lead-off batter. Ruth was ejected for arguing with the umpire. The runner on first was caught stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 batters in Boston’s 4-0 win over Washington.
– May 26, 1959 – Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates tossed 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but that wasn’t enough. The 13th inning included an error, sacrifice bunt, walk and double, all leading to the 1-0 loss. Haddix was the losing pitcher.
– June 3, 1995 – Pedro Martinez threw nine perfect innings, but the game went into extras. He gave up a hit to his only batter in the 10th but still got the win, as Montreal defeated San Diego 1-0.
WSOE Sports Director