Only one word is necessary to describe this game and you all know what it is: perfection. Mark Buehrle faced the minimum against the Tampa Bay Rays in one of the most memorable White Sox games in recent memory. It was the 18th perfect game in Major League history and 17th no-hitter in Sox history.
W: Mark Buehrle (11-3) | L: Scott Kazmir (4-6)
- Josh Fields (1B): 1-for-4 (grand slam off Scott Kazmir in the 2nd inning)
- Alexei Ramirez (SS): 2-for-3, 2B, BB, RBI, and the final out (YES!)
- Dewayne Wise (CF): Game-saving catch in the 9th inning
- Mark Buehrle: 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
- 116 pitches – 76 strikes, 40 balls
- Tampa Bay’s offense
Moment of the Game
“The Catch.” A defensive replacement in the 9th inning, Dewayne Wise made one the greatest catches most of us have ever seen, under the circumstances (or not).
Stats On 35th – Let’s Break This One Down by the Numbers
28.7, .343, 5, 45, 56
This game’s MVP in terms of Win Probability Added (WPA) was Josh Fields with +28.7 percentage points. His second inning grand slam provided some early insurance and the only runs the Sox would need. Right behind him was the man of the hour, Mark Buehrle, who finished just four points below with +24.7.
The Tampa Bay Rays were a tough team to keep off the basepaths during the 2009 season. At the time of the perfecto, the team had an on-base percentage of (.343). It was tied for the second-highest in all of Major League Baseball, making what Buehrle did that much more impressive.
There were five times during the game when Rays batters had a 3-2 count on them. Of those, perhaps the closest Buehrle came to losing perfection was when he fell behind to Jason Bartlett 3-0 in the sixth inning. No harm was done, though, as Buehrle dropped one down the middle of the zone for strike one before getting the count full and inducing a ground ball to shortstop.
After the perfect game against the Rays, Buehrle went on to throw 5.2 perfect innings against Minnesota. In the process, it brought his consecutive outs streak to 45 batters, which set a Major League record at the time. It was four more than the previous record set by Bobby Jenks and Jim Barr (Giants and Angels). The streak was later broken in 2014 by Oakland’s Yusmeiro Petit, who retired 46 batters over a stretch of eight games.
Get ready for some fun with numbers! Now, we all know that Mark Buehrle’s uniform number is 56. However, get this… Eric Cooper, the home plate umpire who also called Buehrle’s no-hitter vs. the Texas Rangers, shared the same uniform number and wore 56. On top of that, the final scoring line for the Sox was 5 runs on 6 hits with no errors (5-6-0). Mind blown yet? No? Well, the time of game for both no-hitters was 2 hours and 3 minutes. Sorry that one doesn’t translate to 56 in any way, but that would be a little too much fun with numbers.
Player of the Game
Usually we do a poll for this section, but that’s not necessary for this game. Mark Buehrle takes it with honorable mentions including Dewayne Wise for saving history, and Hawk Harrelson for one of his greatest games in the broadcasting booth.
Let’s end things on a high note by reliving all 27 outs from this perfect day in White Sox history. Enjoy!
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