Major League Baseball, Thu. 7/23/2009
Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 0
U.S. Cellular Field - Attendance: 28036, Time: 2:03
W: Mark Buehrle (11-3); L: Scott Kazmir (4-6); S: () HR: Chicago: Josh Fields 1 (7).
White Sox batting
White Sox pitching
Play by play
Recap: Chicago WSox vs. Tampa Bay
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Mark Buehrle became the first pitcher in the majors to throw a perfect game since Randy Johnson performed the feat on May 18, 2004, as the White Sox blanked the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0, in the finale of a four-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
It was just the 18th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. The last White Sox hurler to toss a perfect game was Charles Robertson on August 30, 1922 against the Detroit Tigers.
Ironically, Buehrle was the last White Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter. Buehrle completed the amazing task on April 18, 2007 against the Texas Rangers.
The right-hander became just the second Chicago pitcher to toss two no- hitter's in his career. Frank Smith did so in 1905 and 1908.
"I don't think it's really sunk in," said Buehrle. "It'll probably soak in a little later. Obviously anytime your name gets up there with some of the greats in the game, it obviously means a lot."
Buehrle's perfect game appeared to be in danger when Gabe Kapler blasted an offering to deep center in the ninth. But Dewayne Wise, in as a defensive replacement, made a spectacular catch at the wall to keep the perfect game alive. Wise, who climbed the wall and made a jumping grab, almost lost the ball as he fell to the ground.
The final two outs were less dramatic for Buehrle, who fanned Michel Hernandez to get within one out of history. Buehrle pulled off the rare feat by getting Jason Bartlett to ground out.
"I was trying to take it one batter at a time, pitch by pitch," said Buehrle. "If you start thinking about that, telling yourself you've got a no-hitter, a perfect game, whatever, you're going to mess up a pitch or make mistakes. I tried not to think about it and have fun."
Buehrle's day got even better following the contest, as he got a surprise phone call from President Barack Obama, who is a native of Chicago.
Buehrle (11-3) fanned six batters on Thursday to improve to 7-1 in 12 U.S. Cellular Field starts this season.
Scott Kazmir (4-6) allowed five runs on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings to take the loss for Tampa Bay.
Josh Fields' grand slam in the second and a Alexei Ramirez RBI double in the fifth gave Buehrle more than enough room to work with.
Paul Konerko singled, Carlos Quentin walked, and Ramon Castro singled to load the bases with two outs in the second. Fields then stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with a towering drive over the wall in left.
Ramirez drove in Scott Podsednik, who doubled, with a two-bagger in the fifth to cap the scoring in the tilt.
Buehrle was rolling from the beginning of the contest. He threw 76 strikes (116 total pitches) and got 11 ground outs, compared to 10 flyouts.
"A.J. (Pierzynski) came up to me yesterday and said 'you have your personal catcher catching you.' It's kind of a long-time running joke we've had," said Buehrle. "He's like, 'just go out there and throw a no-hitter. I said 'for what, I already have one of those. He said go out there and throw a perfect game.This was all before the game even started."
This was the second no-hitter of the season, as San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez tossed one versus the Padres on July 10. Previous to that, Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs threw a no-hitter on September 14, 2008 against Houston.