Remembering Armando Galarraga's near perfect game
Friday night, we witnessed a pitcher come within one out of a perfect game. And I couldn't help but think back to Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce.
There's little more deflating for a home crowd in sports than seeing a perfect game fall by the wayside with two outs in the ninth inning. We saw it Friday night in San Francisco, as Yusmeiro Petit was a few inches from getting strike three and then about a foot from Hunter Pence making a catch that would have given Petit the 22nd perfect game in baseball history.
And I couldn't help but think back to this:
The part that hits home most for me if Jason Donald immediately putting his hands on his head. He knew he was out and felt awful about the missed call.
As many of us know, what stemmed from this was good. Umpire Jim Joyce admitted his error in the following interview:
The next day, Armando Galarraga brought out the lineup card to home plate umpire Joyce, and a teary-eyed and obviously emotional Joyce gave him a respectful pat on the back:
Joyce and Galarraga would eventually team up to write a book together, titled "Nobody's Perfect."
What came from the missed call was a sometimes-necessary reminder that umpires are human beings who err just like the rest of us and that not all of them lack accountability. Joyce is one of the good ones, as we saw.
Obviously Petit's near-perfecto Friday night didn't have quite the cache as Galarraga's due to the circumstances, but every time a pitcher comes within one out of a perfect game, I can't help but think back to that outing on June 2, 2010.