What a season.

There have already been two perfect games thrown this year, in the same month, by a pitcher that you would have never expected it from and by a pitcher who we all expected it from sooner or later.

On June 2, in a game against the Cleveland Indians, Armando Galarraga had the chance to make baseball history. History that would have etched his name in the most prestigious of record books as the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game in baseball history, and the third this year.

It seemed like the stage was set for Galarraga to complete the ultimate gem. He even had a game-saving play by the Tigers’ stud outfielder, Austin Jackson to keep the perfect game alive. At that point, it seemed inevitable that Galarraga was going to ride all the way to the promised land unscathed.

Armando Galarraga didn’t make history. Umpire Jim Joyce stole it from him.

It happened on a ground ball to Miguel Cabrera that took him off the bag by a good ten feet. Cabrera fielded it, steadied himself and fired a strike to the covering Galarraga. You could make the argument that Cabrera should have left the second basemen field it and he could have stayed on the bag to recieve the throw.

That argument would be valid if the runner was actually safe.

By all accounts, Jason Donald, the man who hit the ground ball, was out.

It was apparent to everyone watching the game and everyone who was anticipating one of the most momentous occurrences in Major League Baseball history. Joyce, possibly the only man in baseball who would have called Donald safe, did so much to the ire of everyone in the state of Michigan and the baseball world over.

Up until that point, Galarraga was delivering a masterful performance. He was literally pitching the game of a lifetime and he deserved to achieve that perfect game.

After Galarraga received the throw from Cabrera, he looked at Jim Joyce, arms outstreched, and smiled. There was scant trace of anger in Galarraga’s disposition. He had the look of “well, those are the breaks.” The truth is, however, that those cannot be the breaks.

You could argue that of the other two pitchers that have tossed a perfect game this season, Galarraga would have been the most deserving. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t get all the accolades but still loves the game and does his job as well as he can.

Quite the popular teammate, Galarraga’s teammates vehemently defended him as soon as Jim Joyce made the call.

Obviously, Joyce thought that he was just doing his job to the best of his ability. It’s usually hard to find fault with that. Unfortunately for Joyce, this is possibly the only scenario where it’s easy to find fault with that. There’s a human aspect to baseball. That’s why there hasn’t been replay yet. Umpire Jim Joyce has obliterated any weight of that argument against instant replay.

Just ask, Galarraga.

Galarraga was even cordial after he was robbed of the perfect game, showing little sign of discontent whatsoever. Unfortunately for him, in the record books, he’ll go down as one of the countless guys that have thrown a one hitter. He might not be remembered for this game.

Umpire Jim Joyce, however, most certainly will be.

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