Mariners Capture Coveted Picture-Perfect Game

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game Wednesday in a 1 to 0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays. That makes it the third perfect game this season. Melissa Block has more.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There are good games in baseball, great games in baseball. And then, there is perfection.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

DAVE SIMS: Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez, the 2-2. He got it. 34 years, 119 games, it's finally happened, a perfect game by a Seattle Mariner. It was done by the king, Felix Hernandez.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

BLOCK: Dave Sims of Root Sports made the call, as Hernandez threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in yesterday's one-to-nothing victory. That means in nine innings, three batters per inning, not one Tampa Bay player reached base - not a hit, not a walk, not on an error, 27 up, 27 down.

Hernandez joins an exclusive club alongside the likes of Cy Young and Sandy Koufax. In more than a century, only 23 perfect games have been pitched in the Major Leagues. Remarkably, three of those games have come this season. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox did it against the Mariners in April.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SIMS: He's going to throw it down. It's a perfect game for Philip Humber.

BLOCK: Dave Sims called that game on Fox. Then came San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain. He threw a perfect game in June against the Houston Astros.

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com and has covered baseball for three decades. He says it is astounding the way perfect games are piling up.

RICHARD JUSTICE: We had 17 in the first 110 years of Major League Baseball and we've had six in the last four years. So, people all over the sport are looking for explanations. And I'm not sure to have three in one year there is a good one, other than maybe the perfect conditions and the right pitcher doing a great thing.

BLOCK: So, in a sport where errors are methodically noted and so many things can go wrong, hats off to Hernandez and the rest who have pitched perfectly.

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