Wishing a happy 37th birthday to Mark Buehrle, who threw a no-hitter and a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox.
Buehrle, who may or may not be retired, no-hit the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007, for a 6-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field while facing the minimum 27 batters. Buehrle had picked off Sammy Sosa from first after the designated hitter drew a fifth inning walk.
Then on July 23, 2009, the 6-foot-2 southpaw threw a perfect game at home against the Tampa Bay Rays for a 5-0 win. That game actually marked the third time that Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters for a complete-game victory, and he is the only major league pitcher to accomplish that feat.
Buehrle’s lesser-known 27-up, 27-down performance was on July 21, 2004, when he threw a two-hit, 14-0 complete game against the Cleveland Indians. Buehrle was perfect through 6⅓ until Omar Vizquel singled with one out in the seventh. Vizquel was retired when Matt Lawton grounded into an inning-ending double play. The next inning, pinch-hitter Tim Laker led off with a single, but Casey Blake doubled him up. Buehrle completed the effort, throwing just 90 pitches (67 for strikes).
Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index shows 33 games in which a starter threw a complete game, faced the minimum 27 batters yet gave up at least one hit. Sixteen were one-hitters, 10 were two-hitters and six were three-hitters. Only John Candelaria has accomplished this rare feat while yielding four hits.
(Feature photo U.S. Cellular Field (Comiskey Park), Chicago, Illinois by Ken Lund under CC BY-SA 2.0)