Last night Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game. He faced 27 batters and got 27 of them out. No walks, no hits, no errors, no runs. The magical accomplishment called a perfect game. One step above a no-hitter because there are no blips or blemishes. Galarraga became the first Detroit Tiger in history to do so.
But umpire Jim Joyce called the 27th batter safe as he ran to first place on a ground ball. First baseman Miguel Cabrera deftly fielded Cleveland Indians’ Jason Donald’s ground ball and tossed it to Galarraga who was covering first. Andrew had his foot on the bag and the ball arrived at first while the runner was yet two steps away.
But Jim Joyce quickly, perhaps too quickly, and inexplicably called the runner safe. Galarraga’s smile of triumph turned to a smirk of disbelief. Jim Leyland was livid and stormed the field. Cabrera was even more irate and risked ejection by continuing to openly badger the umpire even as the next batter came to the plate. The Tiger fans booed loudly and with great justification.
Galarraga, to his credit, shrugged it off and methodically went about getting the next batter to ground out to third baseman Brandon Inge. His fellow Tigers then proceeded to celebrate quietly and deliberately, expressing appreciation for their younger pitcher’s masterpiece.
Armando Galarraga is a class act.
It goes down as a one-hit shut out, just 88 pitches in 9 innings.
It’s time to give baseball managers a red challenge flag.