Yu Darvish, in his second year in the Major Leagues following a stellar career in Japan, just missed pitching the second perfect game in Rangers history. Kenny Rogers achieved the feat on July 28, 1994, and Darvish nearly joined him in that elite club following a dominating performance Tuesday night against the rival Astros.
Darvish lost the perfecto with two out in the bottom of the 9th, to a .232 career hitter Marwin Gonzalez.
The Rangers beat the Astros 7-0, avenging an Opening Day loss Sunday. This would have been the earliest in the season a perfect game has ever been thrown, and Darvish threw 111 pitches in the effort. In his previous start in Spring Training, Darvish threw only 78.
Darvish would have tied a record, striking out 14 in a perfect game. Matt Cain and Sandy Koufax achieved that feat.
The Astros, loaded with inexperienced players and expected to finish last in their first year in the AL West, swung over and over at Darvish’s pitches, even late in the game when Darvish hung several breaking balls. Two Astros struck out in the 8th. Michael Kirkman saved the game for Darvish, striking out JD Martinez after allowing a single to put a runner on 3rd.
The Houston Astros would have become the second team in history to have two Perfect Games thrown against them in less than a calendar year. Tampa Bay was blanked by Mark Buehrle on July 23, 2009, and then by Dallas Braden of Oakland on May 9, 2010. The Astros did not manage a baserunner against Matt Cain of San Francisco last June 13.
|Darvish & 23 perfectos||Date||Result|
|Yu Darvish*||4/2/2013||Texas 7, Houston 0 (lost on last out)|
|Felix Hernandez||8/15/2012||Seattle 1, Tampa Bay 0|
|Matt Cain||6/13/2012||San Francisco 10, Houston 0|
|Philip Humber||4/21/2012||Chicago 4, Seattle 0|
|Roy Halladay||5/29/2010||Philadelphia 1, Florida 0|
|Dallas Braden||5/9/2010||Oakland 4, Tampa Bay 0|
|Mark Buehrle||7/23/2009||Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 0|
|Randy Johnson||5/18/2004||Arizona 2, Atlanta 0|
|David Cone||7/18/1999||New York 6, Montreal 0|
|David Wells||5/17/1998||New York 4, Minnesota 0|
|Kenny Rogers||7/28/1994||Texas 4, California 0|
|Dennis Martinez||7/28/1991||Montreal 2, Los Angeles 0|
|Tom Browning||9/16/1988||Cincinnati 1, Los Angeles 0|
|Mike Witt||9/30/1984||California 1, Texas 0|
|Len Barker||5/15/1981||Cleveland 3, Toronto 0|
|Catfish Hunter||5/8/1968||Oakland 4, Minnesota 0|
|Sandy Koufax||9/9/1965||Los Angeles 1, Chicago 0|
|Jim Bunning||6/21/1964||Philadelphia 6, New York 0|
|Don Larsen||10/8/1956||New York 2, Brooklyn 0 (World Series)|
|Charlie Robertson||4/30/1922||Chicago 2, Detroit 0|
|Addie Joss||10/2/1908||Cleveland 1, Chicago 0|
|Cy Young||5/5/1904||Boston 3, Philadelphia 0|
|Monte Ward||6/17/1880||Providence 5, Buffalo 0|
|Lee Richmond||6/12/1880||Worcester 1, Cleveland 0|