How perfect can Buehrle get tonight?

Categories: Sports



                                                                 Images courtesy of mccloud and Wiki page

Personally, one of the things I'd cherish most before I croak (aside from necking with Kim Basinger) is viewing a perfect game live.  The Chi Sox' Mark Buehrle accomplished the highly rare feat last Thursday, tossing just the 18th perfecto in MLB history (16th in the modern era, post-1900).  Historics usurp rivalry for me on this one, as they should for any pure hardball fan.  The fact that a White Sox put up the beautiful row of "0"'s doesn't bother me - hell: one of those punk-ass Jonas Brothers could toss one and I'd still look over the box score 25 times.

Buehrle follows-up the history tonight at the Dome.  He may not have ever been perfect against the Twins, but he can claim more victories (23) over our boys than against any other opponent in his 10-year career.  That mark includes 10 wins in our town. 

But what can we expect for this eve?

The Twins are pretty well versed with the art of the perfect game.  Of the 18 thrown, two have been against us: Catfish Hunter's on 5/8/68 and David Wells' on 5/17/98.  One-time Twin Kenny Rogers tossed one for Texas back in 1994, and, like Buehrle tonight, the Angels' Mike Witt followed-up his season-ending perfect game in 1984 by facing the Twins in his ensuing start, his first of the next season.

Based on available Game Logs via the dangerously-informative, since

Don Larsen's World Series perfect game on 10/8/56 (the sixth of the 18), starting pitchers have had a generally mediocre follow-up in their ensuing start.  Of course, only once in history (Johnny Vander Meer in 1938) have consecutive no hitters been thrown, so history readily suggests we're not looking for  
anything holding that gravity tonight.

Pitchers' records in their game following the 12 perfect games since Larsen's are a collective 4-4, with 4 no decisions.  Just one man, Len Barker in 1981, followed up his history-maker with a complete game and only five of the ensuing starts have been Quality (6 innings or more, three runs or less).

Sincere kudos to Buehrle for the astounding accomplishment. 

But let's hope he sucks tonight . ...


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