Mark Buehrle's perfect game yesterday afternoon cannot be mentioned without talking about DeWayne Wise's incredible milestone-saving catch in the ninth inning. Wise entered the game as a defensive replacement literally minutes before his studly grab to rob Gape Kapler of a perfect game/no-hitter/shutout-destroying feat. Wise was in the dugout when the Atlanta Braves fell to Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the most recent perfect game before yesterday. Coincidence? Or … no, it's a coincidence.
Hey, so what? All baseball stats are inconsequential in the game of life. But they're the baseball equivalent of scratching chickenpox sores. You know it's wrong but it feels so right. With that in mind, let's feed the disease and go through some no-hitter and perfect game facts:
• Mark Buehrle is the 25th person to throw multiple no-hitters, and the 18th to toss a perfect game. (We're startin' easy here. It gets goofier.)
• Buehrle is the only pitcher to throw two no-hitters this decade. Hideo Nomo and Randy Johnson threw the second no-hitters of their careers in the Aughts, adding to their respective no-nos from the '90s.
• He is now one of six perfect-game pitchers to throw at least one other no-hitter: Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Jim Bunning, Addie Joss, and Cy Young.
• The last person to throw two no-hitters over a three-season span was Nolan Ryan, who accomplished this more than a few times, most recently in 1991, when his seventh no-hitter came less than a year over his sixth.
• With Buehrle's gem, the White Sox are now the third team in baseball history to win two perfect games. Charlie Robertson had one against the Detroit Tigers in 1922. The Cleveland Indians did this first, when Joss tossed his game in 1908 for the then-named Cleveland Naps, and Len Barker threw one in 1981 for the Indians. The Yankees were the second team to brag about this meaningless stat, thanks to the Pitchers David in 1998 and '99, Mr. Wells and Mr. Cone, respectively.
• The offense for the White Sox was mostly supplied by Josh Fields's grand slam in the second inning, the first time a bases-clearing homer occurred in a perfect game.
• The last time a grand slam was hit in a no-hitter was … why, Buehrle's last no-hitter in 2007, when Jermaine Dye slammed one. He was in the lineup yesterday, but went 0-for-4. You have to go all the way back to 1973 when Jeff Burroughs of the Texas Rangers hit one in Jim Bibby's no-no against the A's, 6-0.
• Tampa Bay had never been part of a perfect game in their history. Now that they have, only the Orioles, Royals, and Mariners have been left out of witnessing such a game firsthand, either being the victors or victims. [Correction: American League teams only.]
• One of the quirkiest stats being thrown around was the umpire for both of Buehrle's no-hitters (Eric Cooper). But my favorite meaningless stat is this: yesterday was the first time Ramon Castro caught Buehrle's game, making it the first time a pitcher and catcher made a perfect game the first time they played together.
There are probably other (and better!) stats, but we've already made the rash worse and have clearly done enough damage. Pass the aloe. Powered by Sidelines