Posnanski: Everything you wanted to know about near-perfect games

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at Joe Blogs on June 21, 2015:

One of the great things about baseball is this: It has been around so long that almost everything has precedent. For instance, when Max Scherzer lost his perfect game with two outs in the ninth when he hit Pittsburgh’s Jose Tabata, I was SURE that was the first time that had happened. It HAD to be the first time an 8 2/3 inning perfect game was broken up with a hit-by-pitch, right?

Actually, no. It wasn’t the first time. The same thing happened in on Independence Day in 1908. That was a morning game involving a left-handed pitcher named Hooks Wiltse. Hooks was, according to the writer of the Newark Advocate, a “custodian of clever curves.” Hooks won 139 games in his Deadball Era big-league career.

Wiltse, like Scherzer, was perfect for 26 batters. Unlike Scherzer, however, Wiltse’s Giants were not leading the game. It was still 0-0 because Philadelphia’s George McQuillan was pitching a heck of a game on his own. This meant that the 27th batter of the game for the Phillies was George McQuillan himself.

Read the full article here: http://joeposnanski.com/just-about-perfect/

Originally published: June 22, 2015. Last Updated: June 22, 2015.