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Sunday, June 13, 2010
Almost perfect

By ESPN Stats and Info

Armando Galarraga makes a start in Detroit for the first time since his imperfect game on June 2, and he'll likely be honored in some manner (perhaps a standing ovation when he takes the mound) by the Tigers fans.

The standing ovation will be for what could have, and should have been, and we choose to treat it in this space, as if it was.

Let's say Galarraga had been perfect 11 days ago. Here's what would have been:

" It would have made 21 perfect games in MLB history- three this season, by Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, and Armando Galarraga, making this the first season with three perfect games. The only other season with multiple perfectos was in 1880.

" It would have been the first Tigers no-hitter since: Justin Verlander against the Brewers, June 12, 2007. It would have been the first no-hitter against the Indians since Jim Abbott no-hit them on September 9, 1993. The Yankees manager that day: ESPN analyst Buck Showalter.

" It would have been the second no-hitter on a June 2nd. The other was against the Tigers, by the Mariners Randy Johnson in 1990.

" Marvin Hudson was the home plate umpire. He'd never been home plate ump for a no-hitter before this one.

" It would have made four no-hitters to this point of the season. The last season with four-or-more is 1991, which had seven.

" This was career start number 56 for Armando Galarraga, which would have been the third-fewest for any of the pitchers who threw a perfect game since 1900. Chances are, you would have seen the graphic on your right on SportsCenter.

" It would have been the second perfect game on a Wednesday, joining the one by Catfish Hunter against the Twins on May 8, 1968. There have been seven perfect games on Sundays, which is more than there have been on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays combined (6).

" Roy Halladay pitched his perfect game on the Saturday right before Galarraga's near perfect bid. Three days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) between perfect games would have been an MLB record, which would have led to the graphic on the right.


For reference, the longest drought between perfect games in MLB history was more than 34 years, from April, 1922 (Charlie Robertson) to October, 1956 (Don Larsen).

" Galarraga would have ranked tied for second in the most runs allowed in the start prior to perfect game. Roy Halladay allowed seven runs against the Red Sox, in the start prior to this perfect game, which tops the list. Galarraga allowed six against the Dodgers on May 22, the same number David Cone allowed prior to his perfect game against the Expos.

" Lastly, had Galarraga retired Jason Donald for the 27th out, he would have finished the game with a total of three strikeouts. There hasn't been a perfect game with that few whiffs in 102 years and counting. The last was by Hall of Famer Addie Joss in 1908.