Mark Buehrle: Perfect!

Sox pitcher finishes rarest of baseball honors

By Eamonn Brennan
|  Monday, Jul 27, 2009  |  Updated 6:58 AM CDT
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Mark Buehrle: Perfect!

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Mark Buehrle, perfect. It doesn't get any cooler than that.

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There is a reason perfect games are so rare. They are very, very difficult to do. Before today, there were only 17 of them in baseball history, which is mind-boggling if you really think about. We suggest you don't. 

Today, add another: White Sox Mark Buehrle retired the required 27 straight batters in the Sox's 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field. History, as they say, was made.

Buehrle -- who worked quickly through the Rays' lineup, finishing the game in his customary two hours -- got more than a little help in the top of the ninth inning from center fielder DeWayne Wise. Buehrle allowed a deep fly ball to the warning track; Wise tracked it to the gap, lept at the last second, and robbed a surefire home run. Wise even bobbled the ball as he fell down from the wall, eventually gathering and holding it up, proof of a perfect game still intact.

This isn't Buehrle's first brush with perfection: On April 18, 2007, Buehrle threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers. It was the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history. Today's perfect game -- the 18th in MLB history -- puts Buehrle in even loftier territory.

The congratulations started flowing in immediately.  Buehrle had to interrupt a post-game news conference so he could take a call from President Barack Obama, who is coming to Chicago tonight.  It was as if the lefty was welcoming the president, a huge White Sox fan, back to his hometown by making a little history of his own -- and the president just called to say thanks.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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