Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers was one out away from a perfect baseball game on Tuesday night. One final out separated him from history after the Rangers righty retired the first 26 Houston Astros he faced. But before he could reach perfection, Darvish had to get out Marwin Gonzalez for the final out of the game.
And he couldn’t.
On his 111th pitch of the game, Darvish couldn’t get his glove on a shot sent back at him by the Astros shortsop. As the ball went through the pitcher’s legs and past the infield, so did Darvish’s chance at becoming the sixth Rangers pitcher and the 24th in MLB history to register a perfect game.
“The celebrated right-hander from Japan struck out a career-high 14 and was in complete control before Gonzalez smacked the first pitch up the middle. Darvish was unable to get his glove down in time and the ball skittered into center field well beyond a desperate dive by shortstop Elvis Andrus.
“At that moment, one thought went through Darvish’s mind.
“‘I can now go back to the dugout,” he deadpanned. ‘Even if I got the complete game today, it’s not going to translate to three or five wins. It’s a win. A win’s a win.’
Darvish smiled and put up his hands – almost like, “Oh well, it happens.” Texas’ infielders quickly came to the mound, and manager Ron Washington joined them. [AP]