May was a historic month in Major League Baseball. There have now been 20 perfect games in MLB history, and on May 1… there were only 18. Props go to both A’s hurler Dallas Braden and Phillies ace Roy Halladay for their incredible performances.
Only one other time in MLB history have two perfect games happened within the same thirty day period… and they were logged FIVE DAYS apart – in 1880. Props should also be thrown out to Worcester’s Lee Richmond and Providence’s Monte Ward for their exceptional pitching prowess in those games, too.
Historically speaking, May is the best month to throw a perfect game. Of the 20 that have been thrown, seven have occurred in the month. Recent perfect games by Randy Johnson (2004) and David Wells (1998) both happened in May, and who could forget those classic gems by Len Barker (1981) and Catfish Hunter (1968)? And, if you were around 106 years ago, you may even recall Cy Young’s ace performance in May of 1904.
Now that the two May 2010 perfect games are on the books… the time has come to break down which game was MORE perfect.
Your fantasy baseball geeks at FBD took some time to analyze 9 stats from the box scores of both Braden’s perfecto on May 9 and Halladay’s perfecto on Saturday in Florida. We also reviewed the play-by-play of each perfect game to determine the number of “crucial plays” required to complete each perfect game.
What the heck are “crucial plays,” you ask? The number of exceptional fielding plays required to facilitate the perfect game. Examples of these would be Eric Patterson’s two catches in Braden’s perfecto or Raul Ibanez’s line drive catch in Halladay’s.
After compiling all that data, we then assigned a winner (Braden or Halladay) for each category based on the desired outcome (lower game time and no. of pitches, higher strike percentage and no. of strikeouts, etc) to determine which perfect game was more “perfect.”
After crunching the numbers, the winner? Dallas Braden.
The score? Convincing… 7-3.
The table? See below.