True baseball fans know the names of pitchers like Cy Young, Randy Johnson, Don Larson, Roy Halladay, and Phil Humber, right? Uh, who was that last guy? Well, if you know your baseball, these are pitchers who have thrown Perfect Games.” Okay so everyone doesn’t know the latest hurler to achieve the feat. Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game on Saturday April 21 2012 while visiting the Seattle Mariners.
So for the novice to baseball the perfect game ? what is it? Each baseball game is scheduled for 9 innings. An inning is divided into two halves where each team is able to bat to score runs. During each half inning the batting team is allowed 3 outs. So over a course of a game nine innings long there are 27 outs allowed for each team. Well the perfect game for a pitcher is to face 27 batters and get every single one of them out in consecutive order. There have only been a small number of people to do this in the modern era of baseball and Mr. Humber’s game was the nineteenth. So it is a pretty elite group. Several have faced 28 batters and several have faced more but not given up a hit or a run. Those games have special places in baseball history but the Perfect Game is the cream on the top.
We all strive for perfection. We’re no different. We like to get perfect deliveries all the time perhaps even in just a year. Or maybe never making a mistake on a logo design on an embroidered shirt. But it takes a lot of luck some descent skill and providing the perfect performance on that day to accomplish what Phil Humber just did. For us it just takes attention to a lot of details and reliance on several good partners. We would love to be in the perfect club.
Oh and the reference to baseball throwing curveball. There are two things. First Phil Humber is not one of those elite pitchers that people talk about this year or any year in his career. Having a middle of the road pitcher do this is a quirk of fate. And the last out of the game came on a checked swing on a pitch that squirted away from catcher A. J. Pierzinski who had to scramble to pick it up and fire a throw to first to get the out. Not a picture perfect play but good enough to get it done.