Perfect Buehrle Baffles the Rays

buehrleI was going to be in Chicago, that was the original plan, but decided to stay in Santa Barbara with my brother Todd, while he put a new roof on my brain injured friend Lee’s house.  It was still before noon when I turned on the live scoring feature for my CBS Sportsline fantasy baseball team, WTLNXTYR, and noticed the White Sox were playing a 1:05 PM game, hosting the Rays, at the Cell.  It all came back to me, I’d have been at this game, probably with Rob, as we feel like we’re getting away with something, going to a day game in the middle of the week.  With me not working, I don’t know what I’m getting away with.

I was torn, sit in the sun by the pool, or watch Buehrle pitch against Tampa on TV at the bowling alley across the parking lot from my Motel6 room, they happen to have the MLB package there, good things seem to work out for good people.  It took me about two minutes to decide to go watch the White Sox, in the time it took me to walk across the lot, a nothing to nothing game quickly became 4-0 on a big fly off the bat of Josh Fields with the bags juiced.  Later in the game Scotty Pods ripped a leadoff double inside the firstbase line, Alexei Ramirez, hitting behind the runner also sent his double just inside the first base bag, into rightfield for an RBI double.

That was more than enough for Mark Buehrle, as he had it on cruise control, Tampa got NAHTING!  Buehrle doesn’t overpower anybody, just keeps batters off balance by changing speeds, and setting up his cutter.  He was masterful, a joy to watch, besides being a gem, it was also quick.  There were a couple of close calls, but nothing which required a fielder to over extend himself, a line drive to third that Gordon Beckham snared, with his feet planted on the ground, then there was a screamer that the thirdbase umpire had to jump out of the way from, before deliberately & dramatically signalling, FOUL BALL!

Before I knew it, it was the top of the 9th inning, defensive specialist Dewayne Wise took over in centerfield.  Gabe Kapler caught all of one and sent it over the centerfield wall to lead off the inning, only to have Wise get on his horse, in a full sprint, leap at the fence, bringing the baseball back, preserving the no-hitter and the Perfect Game.  Everybody in the bar cheared, but I think I was the only one knowing what was going on.  “Two outs to go!”, I exclaimed, urging Buehrle on, “Go to work, Mark, bring your lunch bucket with you”.  Buerhle struckout the 26th batter he faced and got the final guy on a grounder to short.

I missed Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter, thrown in April 2007, when I went to Rose Angeli’s with my sister in law Lisa and a good friend named Debbie from Waupaca, they were both in to see a taping of the Oprah Show.  I couldn’t have had a better seat for this one, if I’d been at the park, watching it brought tears to my eyes.  And I have to give the homeplate umpire credit, he had the same strike zone all game long, no matter the count, no matter the situation.

3 Responses to “Perfect Buehrle Baffles the Rays”

  1. it is said that he spent 32 minutes on mound the whole game.

    nicely done, white sox guy

  2. The chances of being stuck by lightning? More than 200,000 to 1. The chances of watching a Perfect Game in person? More 20,000 to 1.

    Now both have happened to me. What’s next?

    Our group was in right-center field, sitting in Sec 102, row 1 and 2. My friend Dan and a group of firemen were there, Dawn was with me, there were about 25 of us. By the way, the “blue seat” that was left untouched after Scotty Pod’s World Series homer was right in front of me and in our group of seats. About the 5th inning, Dan mentioned to me to “look at the scoreboard” (which is code word that there is a no-no going). I said the same thing to Dawn. After the 6th, I called my brother Don to tell him to put the game on, he knows what means too.

    Starting in the top of the 7th, the crowd was into it and on their feet after 2 strikes on every batter. The 8th went fast and people were really into it. We were actually anxious for the Sox to get the bottom halves of their innings out of the way to get Buehrle out there. Buehrle was dealing very quickly and wasn’t pausing at all to develop butterflies in his stomach. We had them out in the outfield, that’s for sure. Fireman Dan was a basket case.

    Wise’s catch was unbelievable, everyone has seen it on the highlights, it was just to the right of us, we had a great view of it as the ball started to think about coming out of the mitt, and he grabbed it with his left hand.

    Jason Bartlett was last up and I looked at the benches and everyone on both sides was up on the rails. Buehrle obviously knows Bartlett looks at lots of pitches. First pitch, right down the middle, called strike. 2 more balls and then an easy grounder. Fitting to end it in typical Buehrle-style, not with a strikeout but with a ball-in-play.

    The place went nuts. I got a glimpse immediately at the Tampa dugout and many of the Tampa players were clapping. Joe Maddon (i.e. Spencer Tracy) manages a classy bunch.

    Out in the parking lot for a celebration:

    Dan: “Oh my God, what a game, unbelievable! Incredible! Right Dawn”

    Dawn: “Yes, that was a good game”

    The understatement of her life.

    2 outfield tickets to a beautiful Thursday afternoon game with friends? $44
    3 Beers? $18
    Watching the 18th Perfect Game in Major League history in person? PRICELESS

  3. I’ll support Mark Buehrle for Hall of Fame. Right after Johnny Vander Meer gets in. If we’re going to put guys in for “two games,” the odds were longer against HIS accomplishment.

    I’m old enough to remember lots of players. I like to take modern players and match them with players from my youth. In this case: Mark Buehrle = Johnny Podres. Comments?

    Not only did my brother Kevin call me during the game. Early in the week, he also invited me in to GO TO a couple of games against Tampa. I turned him down, missing a chance to attend a Perfect Game.

    On the positive side, I also missed getting struck by lightning.

    Dawn, try to control your enthusiasm.

    DonS.

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