On April 21, Phil Humber tossed a perfect game in a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. Humber finished off the Mariners in 95 pitches, 67 for strikes, going to a three-ball count on only three batters. In his gem, Humber struck out nine (including the final batter) and there were only six outfield putouts.
While BBRT raves about Humber’s masterpiece, we register a bit of a rant at the Mariners’ shortstop Munenori Kawasaki’s sixth-inning bunt attempt. The first hit, after 17 batters have been retired in a no-hitter, should be legitimate.
The 4-0 score is the second most popular perfect game final count. Six of MLB’s 21 perfect games have resulted in the narrowest of victories, ending by the score of 1-0. Five perfect games have ended at 4-0 and four at 2-0. The highest score in a perfect game? 6-0, twice: In Yankee David Cone’s July 18, 1999, perfect game against the Expos – and in Phillie Jim Bunning’s June 21, 1964, masterpiece against the Mets.
Another perfecto fact. The largest attendance for a perfect game was 65,519 for Don Larsen’s 1956 World Series perfect game (the only ever in a World Series). The smallest – 6,298, when Catfish Hunter shut down the Twins in Oakland on May 8, 1968, although tens of thousands claim to have been there. The announced attendance for Humber’s perfecto was 22,472. Final piece of trivia: Of the 21 perfect games, 15 were at home.
Looking back to Larsen’s game, probably the most famous perfecto: It came on October 8, 1956, at Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers bested the rival Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0. Larsen struck out 7 (including, like Humber, the last out), went to a three-ball count only once and saw 9 outfield putouts.
Perhaps the most dominant perfect game performance (if such a distinction can be brought to perfection) belongs to Dodger lefty Sandy Koufax, who tossed his perfect game against the Cubs in LA – winning 1-0 on September 9, 1965. Koufax struck out 14 Cubbies in that outing, including the last six batters.
Addie Joss of the Cleveland Naps used the fewest pitches to log a perfect nine-innings – 74 pitches – just three strikeouts – as he beat the White Sox (in Cleveland) on October 2, 1908. The most pitches in a perfecto? 120 by Yankee David Wells, as he shut down the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Yankee Stadium on May 17, 1998.
Perfect game record least likely to be broken? When Jim “Catfish” Hunter tossed his perfect game against the Twins (May 8, 1968, at Oakland), he not only notched 11 strikeouts (including the last batter) – he added insult to injury by collecting three hits in four at bats (a double and two singles) and driving in three of Oakland’s four runs. The best offensive performance ever by a perfect hurler.