By Ben Linton

Yesterday’s game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians raised eyebrows, voices, and fingers around the league when a blown call cost Tigers Pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. With two outs left in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Donald hit a grounder to First Baseman Miguel Cabrera, who flipped the ball to Galarraga in time for the out. However, the umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called Donald safe, ruining the perfect game. When the replay was shown on the big board afterward, it was clear that Donald was out and everyone including Joyce knew it. Galarraga would go on to finish the complete game one-hitter as the Tigers win 3-0.

Fast Forward to 0:45 to see the play^

This is really just unfortunate for the game of baseball. People make mistakes, but it just so happens that this mistake was made in a very critical situation. Joyce himself admitted later that he messed up and offered an apology, which was the right thing to do. You can only help but feel sorry for the guy, he is doing his best and giving it his all each and every day. Galarraga was very classy and poised about this matter as well, he didn’t go and cuss out Joyce, he just did what he had to do and focused on the next batter to close the game.

A lot of people were talking about getting the call reversed even after the fact since it wouldn’t affect the game’s outcome, but Commissioner Bud Selig decided not to. This is the right move even though people will be upset about it. You can’t go back and tamper with results of the game, you got to keep the integrity of the sport intact. Because one thing will lead to another, and soon everyone will have a reason to change the results of any given game and just cause chaos. Today when lineups were exchanged the Tigers sent out Galarraga and Joyce was working behind the plate and they shook hands and Joyce was very emotional as illustrated above.

Another interesting note to think about is the debate between who is better: Major League Pitchers or Major League Hitters? We aren’t even at the midway point of the baseball season, and already there have been three (yes, I’m counting the one from yesterday) perfect games. Besides Roy Halladay, the other two pitchers have not had very illustrious careers thus far and are mediocre at best. Galarraga has posted a 21-18 career record with a 4.50 ERA in four seasons, while Dallas Braden has a losing record in his career of 18-26 with a 4.47 ERA.

This can prove the point that one any given day, if a pitcher is on, he cannot be stopped. Even the greatest hitters in baseball strikeout 80-90 teams each year. Therefore major league pitchers are better. But then when you think about how many times teams’ put up 10 runs in a game each year and you begin to think that the hitters are better. There have been a lot of 10+ run games in baseball’s history, and only 16.99 perfect games. Remember back when the Rangers blasted the Orioles 30-3? Sorry I had to bring that one up.

So this begs the question: “Does good pitching trump good hitting, or vice versa?” I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

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June 2010
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