Less than two weeks after Jonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter versus San Diego, Mark Buehrle did him one better with a perfect game against Tampa Bay on Thursday. Buehrle, who also hurled a no-hitter in 2007, is now the 24th pitcher with multiple no-nos. He needed help from defensive replacement DeWayne Wise, who made a spectacular, homer-robbing catch on Gabe Kapler leading off the ninth inning.
Buehrle’s perfect game was the 16th in baseball history and the first since Randy Johnson in 2004, and he joins Johnson, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Jim Bunning, and Addie Joss as the six pitchers with a perfect game and a standard no-hitter. Interestingly, Johnson is obviously bound for the Hall of Fame five years after he retires and Young, Koufax, Bunning, and Joss are all in Cooperstown.
As a 30-year-old with 133 career wins, a 3.76 ERA, and just one top-five finish in the Cy Young balloting Buehrle has a long way to go before he’s even a marginal Hall of Fame candidate, but that’s some amazing company. Oh, the world’s most famous White Sox fan, president Barack Obama, even called to congratulate him after the game.
While the White Sox use his historic afternoon to jump into a tie for first place in the AL Central, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* With their bullpen ranked third-worst in the league with a 4.86 ERA and Manny Corpas headed for elbow surgery the Rockies added a pair of new right-handed relievers Thursday. Rafael Betancourt will work in a setup role after coming over from the Indians in exchange for mid-level prospect Connor Graham and in a far more surprising move he’ll be joined by 21-year-old top prospect Jhoulys Chacin.
Chacin led the minors in wins last season while going 18-3 with a 2.03 ERA in 28 starts between two levels of Single-A and has been very solid while moving up to Double-A this year, but asking him to skip right past Triple-A and face big-league hitters in an unfamiliar role at the age of 21 seems like an odd decision even with the Rockies holding a small Wild Card lead. Long term, he’s a No. 2 starter.
* Houston is 13-6 in July, but if the Astros are going to continue their second-half surge it’ll have to come without Lance Berkman, who was put on the disabled list Thursday with a strained left calf. Berkman has been out of the starting lineup for five of the past six games, but general manager Ed Wade suggested that he may have been able to play through the injury “if we were in late September.”
* Jose Guillen has been put on the disabled list with a Grade 2 tear of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, suffered Wednesday while he was putting on a shin guard before an at-bat. Seriously. He went to the hospital after hearing a “pop” and complaining of “sudden right leg pain,” and is now facing an extended stint on the sidelines that ends whatever chance the Royals had of trading him.
AL Quick Hits: Jarrod Washburn has given up a total of two runs in his last four starts after tossing seven shutout innings Thursday ... Rumors of St. Louis being after Matt Holliday are picking up steam ... Juan Rivera (hamstring) could rejoin the lineup this weekend after an MRI exam showed no major damage ... General manager J.P. Ricciardi said Thursday that Roy Halladay isn’t interesting in inking extension with the Blue Jays ... Brian Anderson has requested a trade from the White Sox, who’d deal him if they could ... Glen Perkins isn’t expected to miss a start despite being diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis ... Several sources report that the Angels are interested in Scott Kazmir, who was on the losing end of the perfect game ... Meanwhile, the Rays are reportedly talking to the Indians about Cliff Lee ... Bartolo Colon came off the disabled list Thursday and will rejoin the rotation ... Alex Rios swiped three bases Thursday, giving him 18 on the year.
NL Quick Hits: Dan Haren allowed more than three runs Thursday for the second time this season ... Mike Gonzalez exited Thursday’s game after being hit on the forearm by a comebacker, but X-rays were negative ... Adam Wainwright’s sixth straight Quality Start was a rain-shortened complete-game win Thursday ... Kelly Johnson came off the disabled list Thursday after batting .308 in a dozen rehab games, but Martin Prado has surpassed him at second base ... Ryan Dempster could return as soon as this weekend after X-rays showed “excellent healing” in his broken toe ... Scott Olsen should be ready for spring training after no further damage was found during his labrum surgery Thursday ... Albert Pujols received a routine day off Thursday, with Mark DeRosa filling in at first base ... Barry Zito allowed one run on three hits in seven innings Thursday for his third Quality Start in four tries.