I didn't turn on today's White Sox/Mariners game until the 9th inning (indeed, I didn't know the Mariners were allowed to play teams besides the As anymore), but it turns out that was all I needed to see: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Phillip Humber has thrown the 21st perfect game in major league history.
It really can't be said often enough that a perfect game is a remarkable achievement. That's 27 batters retired in a row, starting with the lead off man, going through the order only 3 times, and ending with the nine slot. No walks. No errors. No dropped third strikes. No base runners, period. Nothing.
So much has to go absolutely right to pull that off. The pitcher doesn't just have to be on the top of his game, everything else in the ballpark has to fall his way, too. Mark Buhrle needed an amazing play in the outfield to get his perfect game. Armando Galarrraga's was blown by a bad call at first. And here, Humber needed a very generous call from the home plate umpire (who clearly just didn't want to get in the way of history. I don't blame him).
As such, it's also kind of a random achievement, and that's borne out by the people who've pulled them off. As a recent commercial noted, Justin Verlander hasn't yet. Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, and Bob Gibson never did. But Len Barker and Dallas Braden did. You just can't tell who can put it all together for one day.
And that's exactly why we tune into the games- because you don't know what to expect, and you hope, every day, that it's going to be something amazing. Today, White Sox fans- and anyone in the stands at Safeco Field got that.