It would have been the first perfect game ever pitched by a Detroit Tiger. But a horrific call by first base umpire Jim Joyce destroyed Armando Galarraga’s bid for baseball immortality.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald hit a ground ball fielded by first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Galarraga covered the bag as Cabrera fired the ball to first. The runner was out by a good step, but Joyce saw things differently. He called the runner safe and blew Galarraga’s perfect night.
Galarraga dominated the Cleveland Indians lineup and at times made them look silly. His stuff was unbelievable as strike after strike poured out of him. 26 up, 26 down. But the one that counted got away. There’s no mistake about this one: Galarraga was flat-out robbed.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the ending of the game is how calm Galarraga remained and how outspoken his teammates were. Joyce took a verbal beating from just about every Tiger player and coach. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to be escorted out of Comerica Park tonight by an entourage of security.