It's been five years since Armando Galarraga threw a perfect game that wasn't
At 33 years old, Armando Galarraga has started seven games for Pericos de Puebla in the Mexican League in 2015. In his last start, he threw 6 1/3 innings, striking out three while allowing seven hits and earning the win.
But just five years ago, on June 2, 2010, Galarraga threw a perfect game for the Tigers -- except it wasn't technically a perfect game. Galarraga retired the first 26 Indians batters in a row, chugging along steadily. He only struck out three -- the rest came with aid from the Tigers defense, including an over-the-shoulder catch by Austin Jackson to open the ninth inning:
The 27th batter, Jason Donald, smacked a pitch in between first and second. Miguel Cabrera jolted over to field the ball, and Galarraga dashed to cover first in a relatively routine play. And then, one of the most memorable -- and unfortunate -- calls in MLB history occurred.
First base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe at first, ending the perfect game and no-hitter. However, all the replays made it clear that Cabrera's throw had indeed beat Donald to the bag.
Remember -- this was before replay review. And so, Galarraga threw a perfect game that went into the history books as a one-hit shutout, after he forced a groundout from Trevor Crowe -- the 28th batter he faced.
After the game, Galarraga was still reeling from his performance -- which, let's not kid ourselves, was pretty stellar, perfect game or no. "In that situation you don't think too much. Just action, pitch-by-pitch," he said.
Galarraga didn't have anything to say about the safe call, but Joyce was apologetic to the point of being heartbroken:
That was the last season Galarraga appeared in more than 10 MLB games; he pitched eight for the D-backs in 2011 and five for the Astros in 2012. After spending 2013 in the Minors, Galarraga shipped off to Taiwan -- and now he's in the Mexican League for 2015. Does he have another 28-out perfect game in him?