FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. When I watched the last pitch to Brendan Ryan, there was this half-second of total uncertainty and cliffhanger suspense – for a brief tiny molecule of a moment I had a thought which if it had lasted longer would’ve formed the words “oh my god ball four” – and then the umpire raised his arm. One of the most electrifying, alive-feeling seconds I’ve ever lived through in my years of watching baseball.

    That tiny moment is why baseball is great.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — April 24, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  2. Long time Mariners fan and I was at the game Sunday. It was AWESOME! If they are going to lose anyway, might as well be a perfect game.

    I want to see a chart of how many Americans have witnessed a perfect game live; likely most exclusive club I belong to.

    Comment by jrdo410 — April 24, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  3. make that Saturday, got my days mixed up with the Saturday day game.

    Comment by jrdo410 — April 24, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  4. As someone who was at that game, the whole thing felt very surreal as it was happening. I personally rooted against him the whole time, hoping someone would drop a bunt in the 8th inning and leg out an infield hit.

    Comment by Demingas — April 24, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  5. Why pick those colors for your heat maps and pitch charts? Light blue on a dark blue background is hard to read.

    Comment by Ian — April 24, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  6. My immediate thought was he checked his swing and the home plate umpire just didn’t want to be another Jim Joyce.

    Comment by Geoff — April 24, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  7. He definitely swung. The boxscore tells me (and all humanity forever more) so.

    Plus Ed Farmer said he did.

    Comment by ChuckR — April 24, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  8. My immediate thought was, “[Ryan's] going to be safe at first.”

    But then he stood there and argued like a moron while the ball rolled 50 feet away from Pierzynski. And got thrown out by 70 feet. If he’d have run like any good ballplayer, it might have “only” been a no-hitter.

    But, hey, that’s just, like, my opinion man. As a Sox fan, I was ecstatic to see it anyway. Strike or not, Humber looked filthy all game.

    Comment by therood — April 24, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  9. Arguing the call instead of running it out wasn’t a great choice. But even if he had tried to leg it out, I don’t think Ryan’s time to first base is shorter than AJ’s throw-to-first-base time.

    Comment by Snowblind — April 24, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  10. I agree with therood. Ryan should have run down the line. I really thought that he was gonna make it to first to break it up, instead he argued something that he had no chance of changing.

    Comment by kozilla — April 24, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  11. In the history of baseball, has arguing a call like that ever worked?

    Comment by monkey business — April 24, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  12. and to think Humber went to a breaking ball in a 3/2 count with the perfect game on the line. Talk about confidence

    Comment by adohaj — April 24, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  13. 99.99% vs. 0.01% pie chart. The least informative graphic ever published on this site. Genius.

    Comment by DonChrysler — April 24, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  14. I’m very jealous.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Agreed, if he took off right away he would have beaten the throw.

    Comment by Geoff — April 24, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  16. I kind of want to see that chart too, mostly because I was lucky to be at Buehrle’s perfect game in ’09.

    Comment by Dean — April 24, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  17. That image of him “going around” is not even close to conclusive. From the angle that picture is taken at you can not tell if he went around or not. It’s like concluding that when watching a game on tv the ball is a strike just because it looks like it was over the plate when in fact the angle of the camera just makes it look like it has gone over the plate even though it did not. I don’t know if he went around but it sure looked like it was close enought that he should have deferred to the first base ump.

    Comment by killmak — April 24, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  18. Not sure where you’re getting the figure of 93,077 games total in ML history. Maybe that’s AL games only? According to baseball ref, there have been a shade over 200k games played in major league history. That means there have been over 400k pitcher starts, meaning that it’s even less: .005% perfectos.

    Comment by pgrocard — April 24, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  19. *bowing*

    Thank you, thank you.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

  20. Yeah, I’m not entirely convinced of the image too. It’s very debatable in my humblest of humble opinions.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  21. Hmm… Not sure where my data went awry.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  22. Added the wrong cells. Should be fixed now.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  23. This is the best look I’ve seen:

    Looks like a definitive “yes” to me.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — April 24, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  24. OK, going off the combined announced attendance at every perfect game, 505,257 people in history have seen one live. The real number is surely smaller, as announced attendance is always less than actual butts in the seats.

    Comment by Dean — April 24, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

  25. “And it is no wonder that even the away crowd was cheering Humber at the end:”

    seriously? It was a Mariners home game. Of course the away crowd is going to cheer!

    Comment by thalooch — April 24, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  26. “But it did not know — nor did the players know — what day it was…And Paul Konerko had know way of knowing what he started when he took that first grounder and tossed it to Humber for out number one.”

    I can’t figure out whether there was an attmepted pun there, or just some sloppy spelling and editing.

    Comment by MW — April 24, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  27. when watching live I felt 100 percent sure that he held up. after seeing those images I realize it was much closer than I initially perceived, but i still think he held up. the oblique angle gifs are deceiving because they always make it look like they went. look at the shadow of the bat on the ground for a better estimation. all the videos did for me is help me decide that it was close enough for that umpire to make that decision which i didn’t think when I saw it live.

    Comment by Grant — April 24, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  28. I am cracking up. Way to critique someone’s “sloppy spelling and editing”, while adding your own. Attmepted?

    Comment by Jen — April 24, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

  29. There’s also likely some overlap as two of the perfect games (Wells and Cone) occurred in consecutive years in Yankee Stadium — there are bound to be a decent number of Yankee season ticket holders who saw both. Still love that Cone’s happened on Yogi Berra Day and they happened to have Don Larsen throwing out the first pitch to Yogi. How, um, perfect.

    Comment by Yinka Double Dare — April 24, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  30. As a White Sox fan, I had the exact same feeling in the sixth inning of game 3 of the ALDS when Orlando Hernandez barely got Johny Damon to go around on a 3-2 slider with 2 outs, the bases loaded and a one run lead.

    Comment by MikeS — April 24, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

  31. *tee hee*


    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — April 24, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  32. The point of the image isn’t that it’s an obvious strike. The point of the image is that it’s close enough to understand why the umpire would call it a strike.

    From the MLB rulebook, there is no clear definition of what constitutes a half swing, and it is very clear that if the pitch is ruled a strike by an umpire, the pitch is a strike. The umpires know this, and as I read in a discussion recently, on a dropped strike with a check swing, it behooves the home plate umpire to call a strike, because the appeal means it removes the opportunity for the runner to take first on the dropped strike (because it’s unclear whether or not to run).

    Anyway, the point is, it’s clearly arguable either way, and since there is no clear definition of a check swing, it’s kinda pointless to argue whether he went or not, as it’s purely a judgement call from the umpire.

    Comment by Flynn — April 24, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  33. I understand that Ryan did not run to first base. But what had me dumbfounded was that it was a 3-2 count. Even if he thought he had a walk, he should’ve run to first base. Seeing him starting to argue at such an important time for his team (i.e. breaking up the perfect game) leads me to believe that he thought he went as well and just had to put up the tantrum in order to show up the ump (he is known for doing that quite a bit). Just my 2 cents. :)

    Comment by Mo — April 24, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  34. As a Sox fan who came out to Seattle for the series, it was truly unbelievable to have experienced this game. In the last 5 years, I’ve been to 2 no-hitters and now a perfect game…just so random, and at the same time so awesome.

    Comment by sox2727 — April 24, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

  35. Seeing it live on TV, I didn’t think he didn’t went around, but it was close enough that I wouldn’t begrudge any ump for calling that a strike. Additionally, while he might not have broken the plane, I’m not sure if he held up the bat head.

    Comment by B N — April 25, 2012 @ 2:16 am

  36. I’m a Sox fan that drove up from Portland. I didn’t even realize he was doing it until the 6th. I don’t even bother looking for a no-hitter until then.

    The only time I felt he was really in danger was the catch by Viciedo. Always an adventure out there.

    Comment by JimmyP — April 25, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  37. It’s hard to tell whether or not he went. The live broadcast made it look like he didn’t. The image linked above makes it look like he did. Honestly it probably comes down to a judgement call, one of the most important judgement calls the home plate umpire would probably have to make in his career.

    So all I can do is think of it this way: Imagine being the home plate umpire. You know a perfecto is in progress. There are two outs with a 3-2 count. If Ryan hadn’t moved, hadn’t offered at the pitch, there would be no argument that’s ball 4. The loss of the perfect game would be Humber’s fault. But Ryan did offer at the pitch. And in that situation, as the umpire, I imagine all I would think about is the constant criticism I would get if I called that a ball. It would be Jim Joyce/Armando Gallaraga all over again. No one would say a word to you for calling a strike on a pitch where the batter checked his swing in a game that was undoubtedly lost for the Mariners. But everyone would be up in arms if you called it a ball.

    Maybe I’m overthinking it. But I can never take out the human element of the game; it’s the complicated interplay between players, umpire and fans which makes the game great.

    Comment by baka — April 25, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

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