Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever. Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?
I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it. Why is it the best? Because of Mr. Krause? Because of Mr. Lung? Because of the interns?
That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.
But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another? Not really. But it’s fun trying. For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition. Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count. Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling. Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort. The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment. All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.
Still, it’s relative. And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.
I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too. The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while. David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!
But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again. What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man. When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.
That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future. But that’s just me.
You can hate me for that. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.
I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.
Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)
It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.
While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss. When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.
And for next year? I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…
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And so in this Podcast…
Jeff, Allen and Johanna vehemently compare and critique Croc-based lifestyles, which (surprisingly) include but are not limited to the many labels of Josh Hamilton (including those who are scantily clad), Derek Jeter’s inner Pete Rose, Jeff’s go-to-Gehrig impression, Ozzie Guillen’s mess-mouth and much, much more… all so you can at least laugh while you waste some valuable time!!! Go ahead, laugh it up, fuzzball!
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Keith is involved in some impressive projects himself. Check out his work at Undercard Films. Seriously. Do it. Or I’ll have Prince Fielder sit on your face.
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Recorded Saturday, October 30, 2010