Every incomplete perfect game in baseball history

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Every incomplete perfect game in baseball history

When the Los Angeles Dodgers retired Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings on April 13, 2022, the bid for baseball’s 24th perfect game ended. While the Dodgers’ decision to fire Kershaw generated a lot of hypeTurns out, shooting a perfect pitcher is far from an isolated incident.

In fact, since the last perfect major league game of 2012six pitchers were dragged in while deep in a perfecto attempt, according to a Stacker analysis. Three such occurrences have occurred in the past two seasons alone, a rise potentially buoyed by baseball’s increased reliance on pitch count and load management. A total of 11 pitchers since 1901 have pitched at least five perfect innings, but have not been credited with a perfect game because they were retired or the game became final before the ninth inning.

To discover the 11 that launched perfect incomplete games, Stacker relied on Stathead Launcher Game Finder Tool and limited the dataset to pitchers who had pitched at least five innings. Note that due to limitations in Stathead’s search function, three unqualified games included in the dataset linked above have been manually removed.

The five-inning minimum was chosen because, after five innings, the pitcher can get credit for a win or loss, and the score of the game can be counted if the umpire calls the game early. This minimum also generates a data set of games similar to Kershaw’s – pitchers who made a deep run to perfection, but ultimately failed to complete a perfect game.

Additionally, this research covered both pitchers who were removed from a game and those who completed a shortened game. Major League Baseball considered the latter group to have qualified for an Official Perfect Game until the Statistical Accuracy Committee tightened the definition of a no-hitter in 1991 and knocked 50 no-noes – including four previously perfect games – out of the record books. These four games are included in this list because they meet Stacker’s definition of an incomplete perfect game.

Stacker also looked for those who pitched the last nine innings but didn’t finish the game. However, such occurrences have not been found outside of situations like Harvey Haddix’s 12 Perfect Rounds Where Pedro Martinez’s nine perfect roundsboth of which proved imperfect after blemishes in the extra round.

The 11 launchers are listed in chronological order. Keep reading to find out which players made this list.

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