It was without a doubt the most unfair, heartbreaking thing I’ve ever seen in a baseball game. Wednesday night, Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game — a perfect game — when the Indians Jason Donald hit a slow roller right of first base. Miguel Cabrera made the play, threw to Galarraga who was covering first — and safe! Perfect game gone.
One problem, though — he was out. By a lot (left).
Jim Joyce blew this call big-time. The replay showed Donald was out by at least a step. At first it appeared as if Galarraga may not have had his foot on the base. But the replay showed it was clearly on there. Tigers manager Jim Leyland argued briefly, but Cabrera let Joyce hear it until the next batter grounded out to end the game.
Afterwards, Leyland, Cabrera and several other Tigers yelled vehemently at Joyce, as the rest of the team congratulated Galarraga — the most somber display after a one-hit shutout you’ll ever see.
Joyce is going to feel horrible after he sees the replay. His mistake denied a man from being part of baseball history. As for Galarraga, it’s impossible to imagine how he must feel. He should have had a perfect game, and through no fault of his own — no fault on the part of any of his teammates — it was taken away from him.
And there’s not a damn thing anybody can do about it.