It took two tries, but the Cardinals finally managed to jinx Nick Kingham's perfect game
When teams face a starter who has a perfect game going, there are a number of strategies they can employ to turn things in their favor. Maybe they can adopt a more patient approach to try to draw a walk. Or, maybe they can be more aggressive and get to the pitcher before falling too far behind in the count.
During Pittsburgh's 5-0 win on Sunday, the Cardinals showed off a third option against Pirates starter Nick Kingham: Jinx it on Twitter.
Kingham was making his Major League debut and was rolling from the first inning, as evidenced by this slider he used to strike out Tommy Pham:
It didn't end there. Not by a long shot. Through five innings, the Cardinals still had not put a runner on base against the rookie. So, prior to the sixth inning, they channeled Dexter Fowler's successful mantra in the hopes of getting on base:
Let's try this again...- St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 29, 2018
We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit. We will get a hit.
Despite their best efforts, Kingham was still on point in the sixth inning, as evidenced by this slider to strike out Harrison Bader:
Undeterred by their unsuccessful attempt to jinx Kingham's outing, they tried another tactic entering the seventh:
The Pirates lead 4-0 after 6 innings in Pittsburgh.- St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 29, 2018
This would be a PERFECT time for a rally, wouldn't you say?! pic.twitter.com/EfWkcup2lC
After two outs in the seventh, it looked like just another failed attempt. Then, Paul DeJong pulled a 2-2 pitch from Kingham down the third-base line to become the first Cardinal to reach base.
Good call, Dex:
See. It worked lol https://t.co/d7ovLc2WI6- Dexter Fowler #25 (@DexterFowler) April 30, 2018
Still, seven shutout innings in a Major League debut is an impressive feat, especially when you only allow one hit, strike out nine and retire the first 20 batters you face. The Pirates' bench showed its appreciation for the accomplishment.
It looks like the age-old superstition of not mentioning a perfect game before it's over may have some merits behind it.