Antedating of "Perfect Game"

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 25 03:26:55 UTC 2010

This is kind of what happened to the definition of a "no-hitter" fairly
recently. Following a game in which the White Sox allowed walks followed
by errors and run-scoring fly-outs in two separate innings, resulting in
a 4-0 loss despite surrendering no hits, San Francisco had a game with
three pitchers combining for a win where they gave up no hits. At the
time, both were officially considered "no-hitters" and certainly were
discussed as such in the press. Within a month, MLB issued a new rule
that a game could not be called a no-hitter unless the team gave up not
only no hits, but also no runs, and one pitcher had to complete the game
and could not lose it (of course, if he gave up no runs, he could not
lose). My immediate question back then was how the MLB was going to
control every-day usage even if they changed the official nomenclature.
As far as I know, the issue has come up only a couple of times since
then and, in both cases, it was because of the use of multiple pitchers.
I recall watching one game in late innings (not my usual activity, but I
got curious because of the situation), where the starting pitcher was
replaced after he 9th inning with no hits and a 0-0 game. The announcers
began wondering about the status of the game if the relief pitcher gave
up no hits (a trivial matter by the new MLB rules). But, interestingly
enough, I have not heard much discussion of the rule other than in the
context of an ongoing game. Of course, that could be because I don't
normally follow baseball and don't get involved in conversations about
baseball, but, still, it was an interesting factoid to keep track of.


On 5/24/2010 9:12 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> At 8:47 PM -0400 5/24/10, Alice Faber wrote:
>> Well, it implies that the game *would have been* a perfect game, if not
>> for the walk, hence that unqualified perfect game couldn't have been
>> used for a no-hitter.
> That's what I was thinking too, but it still seems a bit odd, sort of
> like a pitcher who "pitched a shutout, except for giving up a run or
> two" or a football team that "went undefeated except for a game or
> two".
> LH

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