It’s a feat not many have accomplished—27 up, 27 down. Throwing a perfect game is one of the rarest accomplishments in the game.
Just under 19,000 people have played Major League Baseball and only 23 people in the history of the game have tossed a perfect game. Less than one tenth of players have been able to put a perfect game on their resumé.
Although a perfect game is a pitcher’s achievement, the defense is a part of the performance as well. A perfect game includes no errors or walks, making it a team effort.
The 27 out—the last out—is said to be the hardest. Eleven times pitchers have carried an perfect game into the ninth inning and lost it with just one out to go. The almost perfect game is heartbreaking not only for the pitcher and team, but for fans as well.
On Saturday, Sep. 10, Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill carried a perfect game through the 7th inning. Hill was pulled from the game by manager Dave Roberts leaving fans confused and disappointed.
Roberts devastated many fans, and broke the unwritten rule, don’t pull a pitcher in the midst of a perfect game. Roberts said there was a “hot spot” or a developing blister on his throwing hand and influenced his decision to remove him from the game.
Hill had just been activated after a month long stint on the disabled list. Hill was down with a blister that ripped open on his left index finger.
Roberts didn’t want to risk a losing the team’s dominant pitcher in the middle of their playoff push. The dodgers are currently leading the National League West with a four game lead on the Giants.
Hill was just six outs away from perfection, when the opportunity was taken out of his hands by Roberts. 21 up, 21 down may be as close as he will ever get to the might accomplishment. Hill aims for perfection again Saturday, Sept. 17 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.