When was the last perfect game in MLB? Pitching’s highest achievement far more rare than no-hitter
Clayton Kershaw flirted with history in his first start of the season on Wednesday, throwing seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins before being taken out of the game because of myriad factors, including pitch count and weather.
While no-hitters remain an impressive achievement, Kershaw facing 21 batters and sitting them down puts him in rare air. There have been just 23 perfect games in MLB history, compared with 314 no-hitters.
When was the last MLB perfect game?
The last perfect game thrown in Major League Baseball was Aug.15, 2012, when Felix Hernandez blanked the Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-0 Mariners win. Hernandez threw 113 pitches in the win with 12 strikeouts, topping off a season in which there were three perfect games.
After that streak, we have seen nearly a decade without a perfect game. Although Kershaw knocked on the door, his pitch count and the early nature of the season took him out of the game. When Alex Vesia came in, he promptly lost the combined perfect game to Gary Sanchez, keeping Hernandez the last pitcher to throw a perfect game — combined or otherwise.
How many no-hitters have there been since the last perfect game?
Major League Baseball has seen 35 no-hitters since Hernandez’s perfect game, including six combined no-hitters. Kershaw himself threw one June 18, 2014, against the Colorado Rockies. Incidentally, in Japan, 20-year-old Roki Sasaki threw a perfect game on Sunday, which featured 19 strikeouts.
How many perfect games have there been since 2000?
For the sake of record-keeping, we’re excluding Armando Gallaraga’s infamous near-perfect game in which a runner was called safe on what would have been the final out of the game by Jim Joyce, breaking it up. With that out of the way, there have been seven perfect games since 2004, starting with Randy Johnson’s gem against the Braves.
|Player, Team||Date||Opponent, Score|
|Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks||May 18, 2004||Atlanta Braves, 2-0|
|Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox||July 23, 2009||Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0|
|Dallas Braden, Oakland Athletics||May 9, 2010||Tampa Bay Rays, 4-0|
|Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies||May 29, 2010||Florida Marlins, 1-0|
|Philip Humber, Chicago White Sox||April 21, 2012||Seattle Mariners, 4-0|
|Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants||June 13, 2012||Houston Astros, 10-0|
|Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners||August 15, 2012||Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0|
The Rays have been blanked three times in the 2000s. Coincidentally, the only other two teams to have multiple perfect games thrown against them are the Dodgers (three times, once as the Brooklyn Dodgers) and the Twins (two times).