Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Drew Smyly lost his bid for a perfect game on Friday in amazing fashion when he and catcher Yan Gomes hilariously collided with each other trying to pick up a dribbler in front of the pitcher’s mound.
That was the only hit the Dodgers recorded in a 13-0 Cubs win, and the only base-runner Smyly allowed in 7.2 innings pitched.
Jeremiah Estrada pitched the remaining 1.1 innings to close out the one-hit win, but did allow two walks.
As far as losing a perfect game is concerned, that has to be at the top of the list for the worst ways to do it. But Smyly is not alone in losing such a bid in crushing fashion.
Let’s take a look at them!
Max Scherzer hits Jose Tabata
Before Smyly on Friday, this might have been the gold standard for unbelievable ways to lose a perfect game.
Honestly, it still might be.
Scherzer was in the top of the ninth inning, with two outs, two strikes and one pitch away from completing a perfect game.
That was when this happened.
Nationals fans were livid that Tabata appeared to make no effort to get out of the way and seemed to even lean into it.
The hyper-competitive Scherzer, however, was far more measured in his response and basically said that he should have thrown a better pitch and that Tabata did his job.
Scherzer still completed the no-hitter, but he did not get the perfect game.
Jim Joyce misses the call on Armando Galarraga and changes baseball
Speaking of brutal ways to lose one, who could forget this moment? Probably no one who seriously follows baseball because this is one of the plays that led to the push for instant replay in baseball.
After retiring the first 26 batters he faced, Cleveland’s Jason Donald hit a ground ball on the infield that required Galarraga to cover first base. As he caught the throw from Tigers first basemen Miguel Cabrera, he started to celebrate what would have been the first perfect game in the 110-year history of the Tigers only to see Joyce call Donald safe.
He was not safe.
Joyce was tearfully apologetic after the fact, acknowledging that he blew the call and personally apologized to Galarraga several times. Galarraga was graceful and sportsmanlike in accepting all of it and said nobody was perfect and that Joyce probably felt worse than he did.
Galarraga had thrown only 83 pitches prior to that, which would have made it one of the most efficient perfect games on record. Instead, it was just a brilliant one-hit shutout.
Ben Davis bunts on Curt Schilling
One of baseball’s dumbest unwritten rules is you do not bunt to break up a no-hitter or perfect game.
Former San Diego Padres catcher Ben Davis broke that rule against Arizona Diamondbacks starter Curt Schilling in the eighth inning of this 2001 game.
Schilling and the Diamondbacks were furious about this play after the game, with manager Bob Brenly referring to Davis as “chickens—.”
Davis was totally in the right with what he did, though.
It was the eighth inning and the game was only 2-0 at time. Not only is no pitcher ever entitled to a no-hitter or a perfect game, the other team is still trying to win. This is the big leagues here. The Padres needed a base-runner to bring the tying run to the plate, and Davis accomplished that. Those are the breaks, Curt.