In baseball, a perfect game is a rare sight to see. There have been 23 perfect games thrown in MLB history. No pitcher has ever thrown two perfect games. That number should be at 24 because 10 years ago, a pitcher was robbed out of a perfect game performance.
Armando Galarraga was on the mound for the Detroit Tigers on June 2, 2010. The Tigers were playing the Cleveland Indians, and Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. With two outs, he had his perfect game taken away from him.
Armando Galarraga’s 2010 season
The 2010 season was Galarraga’s fourth season in the MLB. He was in his third stint with the Tigers, and he looked to improve from the previous season. Taking a look at Galarraga’s 2010 season, he appeared in 25 games and made 24 starts on the mound. He finished with a 4-9 record with a 4.49 ERA.
Galarraga struggled for most of the year, but he continued to remain in the starting rotation for the Tigers. He was in a rotation that featured Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Jeremy Bonderman, and Rick Porcello. Galarraga was the fifth pitcher in the rotation and had the least amount of wins between all of the starters.
Though he did not have the best season that year, there was one game where Galarraga pitched his best. That one performance was arguably the best pitching outing of his career, and he almost was a part of history.
The game Armando Galarraga almost threw a perfect game
It was a typical summer day in June at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Galarraga took the mound that day, and he took control of the game against the Indians from the start. The Indians were struggling throughout the year going into the game, and they did not have an answer for Galarraga.
Galarraga was effective in the entire game, mixing up pitches and establishing command of the game. He only had three strikeouts that game, and that’s all he needed. As the game went on, Galarraga would continue to keep the Indians’ batters off the base paths. When the seventh inning rolled around, the Tigers had a 1-0 lead over the Indians, and Galarraga was still on the mound. The Indians did not have a hit or a base runner yet.
The Tigers’ defense made many plays behind their pitcher, and going into the top of the ninth, Galarraga was just three outs away from making history. He got the first two outs without any problem. Then he was only one out away from doing something not too many pitchers can say they did.
Jason Donald was the batter for the Indians trying to be the first batter of the game. He hit a ball to first base, and Miguel Cabrera fielded it and threw it to Galarraga, and it was a foot race to first base. Galarraga stepped on first before the batter, but umpire Jim Joyce missed it and called the runner safe. Just like that Galarraga’s perfect game was over. Everyone from the players, coaches, and fans were all in disbelief because they could not believe he was safe. Galarraga was able to get the final out of the game and finished with a one-hitter and picked up his second win of the season.
10 years later Armando Galarraga still is hurt over that game
Looking back at that video, Joyce missed that call, and he even admitted it. Galarraga wants the MLB to overturn that call. The former right-handed pitcher has every right to try and get the MLB to change that decision because he did throw a perfect game that day.
If instant replay was implemented during that time, the call would have been overturned without a doubt, and Galarraga would have added his name to baseball history. It would be great if the MLB found a way to reverse that call and give him the perfect game. Galarraga finished his MLB career with a 26-34 record, 4.78 ERA, and 346 strikeouts. For now, he will always be remembered as the pitcher that was robbed of a perfect game.