Dallas Braden is now part of history, as he has accomplished the most difficult feat in all of sports…the No Hitter Baseball Game.
It is more difficult than knocking somebody out, hitting a hole in one, hitting a grand slam, or even running the pigskin back 99 yards. It is more difficult because it is a sustained effort, taking place over a couple of hours. It is more difficult, as proven by the fact that there have been only 19 of them over the history of baseball, 17 since 1900.
A perfect game is defined as 27 batters up…and 27 batters down. Nobody reaches base, not by hit, walk, being hit, or an act of god. It is a shut out, a scoreless game (for one side) and harder than the dickens.
It requires not fluke, but 9 men working in concert, though, the onus is admittedly on the pitcher. And the pitcher does get the deserved credit.
To define the best perfect game of all time we need only look at one fact, how many pitches were thrown.
The more pitches the less perfect a game is.
If the batter works the pitcher to a full count (two strikes and three balls), and a bunch of fouls, before being struck out, that is a bad thing.
If on the other hand, the pitcher throws but three pitches–that’s three strikes, zing, zing, zing–then that’s a good thing. And, of course, in a perfect world, grin, a pitcher would pitch 27 strikes, and receive 27 weak ass bloopers to his outstretched glove.
In going over the records I came across the worst perfect game ever pitched. That was David Wells of the Minnesota Twins. May 7th, 1998 he had to throw a whole 120 pitches to bag his perfect game. That’s 4.4 pitches for every batter. Piker.
On the other end, and answering our question for the best perfect game of all time, I came across Addie Joss of the Chicago White Sox. In 1908 he threw 74 pitches, which is 2.74 pitches per batter. Now that’s a man!