June 20- Max Scherzer No-Hits Pirates, Barely Loses Perfect Game
2015- On this day in Sports History, Max Scherzer came within one strike of throwing the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. He was pitching for the Washington Nationals against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he got so close to perfection.
Scherzer got 26 batters out in a row and just needed one more to be perfect. The game was pretty much decided as the Nationals were ahead 6-0. The only question that remained was whether Scherzer would become the first pitcher to throw a perfect game since 2012. Instead, in the ninth inning with two outs, he hit Jose Tabata on the elbow with a 2-2 pitch to ruin his perfect game. Many baseball fans can argue that it looks like Tabata made no effort to get out of the way of the pitch, and instead he even leaned into it so it would hit his elbow. Nevertheless, Max Scherzer lost his perfect game and Tabata got to go to first base.
The next batter for the Pirates was Josh Harrison. Scherzer got Harrison out with a fly ball to left field. This gave Max Scherzer a no-hitter as he finished the game without allowing a hit. Although pitching a no-hitter is a great accomplishment that has only been done about 330 times in MLB history, the celebration was a little sour knowing he was so close to a perfect game.
Scherzer amazingly had three chances at a perfect game in 2015, but just had some bad luck each time.
-June 14, 2015- Scherzer had a perfect game going until the seventh inning when he gave up a broken bat blooper. Scherzer finished the game with a one hit complete game.
- June 20, 2015- Scherzer had a perfect game going until the ninth inning when he hit Tabata with a pitch. Instead, he retired the next batter to finish with a no-hitter.
-October 3, 2015- Scherzer had his second no-hitter of the season against the New York Mets. The only batter reached base on an error in the sixth inning. Scherzer had 17 strikeouts in the game which was a team record. Scherzer is only the sixth pitcher to ever have two no-hitters in one season.
Max Scherzer came close all three times to throwing the 24th perfect game in MLB history. Each time had to be disappointing when he lost it. But losing a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on the 27th batter has to be agonizing. The June 20th game was the 13th time in MLB history that this has happened.
Hitting the 27th batter that had two strikes with a pitch has to be an even more agonizing way to lose a perfect game. But it actually has happened one other time before then. On July 4th, 1908, Hooks Wiltse of the New York Giants had a perfect game with two outs against the Philadelphia Phillies. Wiltse had two strikes on the Phillies pitcher, George McQuillan, when he hit him with a pitch and ended his perfect game. The game went to extra innings and Wiltse had to settle with a 10 inning no-hitter.
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Posnanski, Joe. “When Batter 27 Strikes.” NBC SportsWorld, NBC, 22 June 2015
AP. “Nationals Star Loses Perfect Game On Final Out.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 21 June 2015