Isn't it nice to have an actual sports story to cover? After the jump, we'll break down Mark Buehrle's perfect game in pictures, numbers, and ritual sacrifices.
Twenty-seven batters retired, one cardiac arrest-inducing catch from DeWayne Wise, and one game of tonsil hockey with Ozzie Guillen later, Mark Buehrle had himself a perfect game. But how special is it?
Thanks to Wikipedia, we can list the rarest occurrences in baseball. Today's was the 18th perfect game in history, which means this has happened seven more times than a single runner has stolen home twice in a game, three more times than someone hitting four homers in a game, and two more times than someone has striking out four consecutive batters in a single inning.
For every perfect game, there have been about 12 no-hitters and 16 players to hit for the cycle. Since the last perfect game, Randy Johnson's in May 2004, we've had 7 no-nos and 25 cycles.
The rarest pitching feats, not counting one-time flukes like Johnny Vander Meer? Only twice have pitchers ever given up four homers in a row, retired the first 27 batters but failed to record a perfect game, and pitched 20 scoreless innings in a single game. That last one isn't happening any time soon.
Perhaps we should have known something special was going to happen when cagefighter Miguel Angel Torres threw out the first pitch:
I left a cup of lion's blood and some cobra venom for him (Buehrle) at the mound to throw a no-hitter," Torres said with a laugh. "That's how I roll. It was an awesome experience."
The day ended with Buehrle receiving a phone call from President Obama, and sportswriters around America finally being able to spell his name without looking it up.
For the Rays, there's no shame in being on the losing end of one of these. They got to see a little history, and B.J. Upton somehow got named his team's top batter.
And while Buehrle might have been perfect, ESPN Chicago's spellchecker certainly wasn't (H/T: reader Ben)
Buehrle Joins MLB Elite With Perfect Game [MLB]
List Of Major League Baseball Single-Game Records [Wikipedia]
Is Torres The White Sox Good Luck Charm? [WEC]
Buehrle Pitch Perfect, Gets Call From First Fan [Chicago Breaking News Center]