So, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from throwing a perfect game. (Despite the fact that there have been two so far this season, there have only been 20 since 1880. This season has been really, really weird for that.)
The 27th batter, Cleveland Indians rookie Jason Donald, hit a ball to the right of Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Galarraga dutifully went over to cover first base to take the throw from Cabrera and step on the bag, which he's doing in the picture above; the ball is safely in his glove.
First-base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe.
Perfect game over.
No-hitter over, even.
The record books might show that Armando Galarraga pitched a masterful 9-inning shutout, with one hit allowed, no walks and no hit-batsmen, with no fielding errors behind him. But we all know he really pitched a perfect game: 27 up, 27 down.
It's okay, buddy. We still love you.
UPDATE: A bit later, after the game...
"I just cost that kid a perfect game," Joyce said. "I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay."Still stings, though.
"It was the biggest call of my career," said Joyce, who became a full-time major league umpire in 1989.
Joyce faced a group of hostile Tigers — led by Leyland — between the pitching mound and home plate after the final out and was booed lustily by the crowd of 17,738 as he walked off the field.
"I don't blame them a bit or anything that was said," Joyce said. "I would've said it myself if I had been Galarraga. I would've been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me."