Cain and the 'Perfect Game Crew'
Late Friday afternoon, a Seattle Mariners executive knocked on the door of the umpires' dressing room. Inside, the four umpires from that night's crew -- Brian Runge, Ted Barrett, Marvin Hudson and Dale Scott -- were preparing for the game.
"It's the perfect game crew!" said Mariners president Chuck Armstrong, greeting the group.
It was Armstrong's way of acknowledging that Runge's group had been the umpires when White Sox starter Phil Humber threw his perfect game earlier this season in Seattle, with Runge as the plate umpire.
But what Armstrong did not know, at that moment, was that six Mariners pitchers would combine for a no-hitter with Runge again working behind home plate. Or that five days later, the Perfect Game Crew would be at work in San Francisco when Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Houston Astros; Barrett was behind the plate, and Runge was at third base Wednesday night.
There was one change in the Perfect Game Crew from last Friday, however. Marvin Hudson -- who was the plate umpire the night that Armando Galarraga threw his would-be perfect game in 2010, when history was altered by Jim Joyce's missed call -- had the night off. Hudson was replaced by Mark Muchlinski, who was the umpire at first and made the final out call of Cain's perfecto.
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