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Armando Galarraga, Tigers throw nearly perfect game, Umps need instant replay

Jedidiah Bird's picture

In what could turn out to be the year of pitching, a third perfect game was nearly thrown in less than a month, this time by Detriot Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga, but Galarraga was robbed by a blown call by Umpire Jim Joyce. Video shows what should have been the final out of the game being called a safe hit.

For those who argue for baseball's use of instant replay, their voices could reach fever-pitch (No pun intended), as a clearly wrong call cost Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers his well-earned place in history. To Galarraga's credit, he kept his composure after the blatantly incorrect call and recorded the final out against the very next batter.

Going into the 9th inning with a very commanding presence, Galarraga recorded the first two outs with a great catch on a leadoff flyball by Mark Grudzielanek and a groundout by Mike Redmond. With one final out to go in order to attain perfection, Jason Donald came up to the plate and hit a grounder to Miguel "Miggy" Cabrera, which was cleanly fielded and leisurely thrown back to Galarraga who was covering first base. The ball reached a split second before Jason Donald did, and Galarraga held up his gloved hand knowing he'd joined one of the most elite clubs in baseball, the Perfect Game Club, or Club Perfect.

That's when veteran umpire Jim Joyce made an emphatic safe call, silencing the Comerica Park crowd in disbelief. Replays showed the call was wrong, he was out by 3-4 feet, but it wasn't given the benefit of instant replay for the officials.

Galarraga kept his head, and just walked back to the mound, and retired the next batter, Trevor Crowe, to record his first career Complete Game Shutout.

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Written by Jed Bird

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