The Detroit Tigers’ Armando Galarraga is robbed of his perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on a blown call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce, as Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald is ruled safe on the infield single that wasn’t in a 3-0 one-hit shutout.
Galarraga had retired the first 26 batters with relative ease when Donald reached on an infield single to the first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Fielding the ball in the hole between first and second base, Cabrera threw to Galarraga at first, who made the catch and stepped on the bag before Donald reached. Joyce ruled Donald safe, ending the perfect game. Following the game, Joyce made several comments expressing his error.
“It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the [expletive] out of it,” he said. “I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.” Joyce met with Galarraga following the game and, in tears, hugged the young Detroit starter and apologized for costing him what would have been the third perfect game in the month, following those thrown already by Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay and Oakland’s Dallas Braden.
Cabrera started the scoring for Detroit in the second inning, when he took Indians starter Roberto Hernandez (then Fausto Carmona) deep to left to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. They would not score again until the eighth, when Magglio Ordonez singled to right center field to score Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon, the latter of whom scored on a throwing error by right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Galarraga allowed just one hit and struck out three in his complete game win, his second victory of the season. Carmona took the complete game loss to drop him to 4-4 on the year. He allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts.
Photo: AP File