Comparing Perfect Games: Who’s More Perfect?
What a year in pitching, as of right now it’s June 17th and there have already been three perfect games. Officially only two but we all know that there have been three.
So the question begs to be asked, who pitched the most perfect game?
Determining what embodies a really good pitching performance is hard because it’s a matter of perspective. Obviously going as many innings as possible while giving up a limited amount of runs is the ultimate goal, but since we’re dealing with three perfect games here, our criteria has to be a bit more critical.
So we set up our criteria for a perfect game and our grading system. First off I will be giving each player (Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, and Armando Galarraga) points based upon how they do. First place in each category gets 5 points, second gets 3, and third gets one measly point.
The categories: I will be judging off of grouder/fly ball ratio, ball/strike ratio, overall pitch count, strike outs, and release point.
So now I analyze.
Ground Out/Fly Out Ratio
Armando wins this one hands down. Of the 28 outs he recorded in his perfect game, 14 were ground outs. By my own personal judgment, grounders are more efficient outs to get. Second place goes to Halladay who got 29% of his batters faced out via the ground ball. So third place? That goes to Mr. Braden, with a paltry 26% of batter getting out via the ground out.
Armando hit the strike zone 76% of the time. Roy Halladay hit the K-Zone 62% of the time. Braden hit the strike zone 70% of the time.
Armando, once again you win.
Now Armando won this category hands down. 88 pitches through 28 total batters faced. Halladay? 115 pitches. Braden? 109. It’s not even close. Apparently when you attack the strike zone and get efficient outs, your pitch count stays wayyyyy down. Now that’s impressive.
This is more of a measure of “nastiness.” The strikeout is probably the most embarrassing way to get called out during a game. Great pitchers make batters look silly. Halladay wins this category. He struck out 40% of batters. That’s an insane number. Coming into second place is Dallas Braden with 22% of batters struck out. Galarraga brings up the rear with 10% struck out.
Sorry Mando, you can’t win ‘em all.
Release point is an indicator of consistency in mechanics. It also doubles as a “nastiness” indicator because it indicates deceptiveness in the mechanics. While Mando and Halladay were pretty close, I have to give this category to Halladay because there are no real extreme outliers. Dallas, once again you get third.
Tallying the Score
Armando Galarraga: 19 points
Roy Halladay: 15 points
Dallas Braden: 11 points
So Armando, I award you the most perfect of perfect games. Seeing as I’m a poor college student, the notoriety of winning a competition on my blog is all you get.
All information used in this post was gathered from Fangraphs.com and/or TexasLeagures.com