There was a bit of a kerfuffle yesterday afternoon about Jose Tabata doing something involving getting hit by a pitch. I think the Washington Nationals’ starter, Max Scherzer was working on some sort of historic event, but the Pittsburgh Pirates’ scrappy outfielder stuck out his elbow and caught the edge of a backdoor slider that didn’t slide quite enough.
Oh well, perfect game ruined.
This brought up talk of other pitchers to lose a perfect game on a hit batter. Good ol’ George “Hooks” Wiltse is the only other pitcher in Major League Baseball history to lose a perfect game on a hit batter, one out away. That happened all the way back in 1908, when players were still frequently nicknamed “Hooks” and a team was called the Tip-Tops.
There is another, more notable name than Wiltse to lose a perfect game on a hit batter. That would be one, Pedro Martinez, who saw his perfecto ruined after he drilled Reggie Sanders back in 1994. Martinez had struck out Sanders twice prior in the game, and the Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder was not pleased the Montreal Expos’ starter had thrown him some chin music in those at bats.
With an 0-2 count in the eighth inning of a perfect game, this happened.
Of course, Pedro did not intend to hit Sanders, but the resulting melee is surely the only perfect game-ending melee in the history of baseball. Martinez, fortunately, was allowed to stay on in the game, and almost kept his no-hitter before giving up a leadoff single to Brian Dorsett in the ninth.
The best part about looking for the video clip of the brawl for me, is the fact that YouTube has a habit of recommending other great Pedro Martinez-inspired clips.
Here’s my favorite.