By definition, "nothing" happens in a perfect game, so it shouldn't take long. Add to the equation a left-hander whose even mundane efforts are considered "perfect games" in the senses of pace and efficiency, and the historic result is what Mark Buehrle tendered Thursday afternoon.
The White Sox ace, who ordinarily pitches as if double-parked, became a double-no-hit pitcher with history's 18th perfecto. In Buehrle's hands, it took a mere two hours, three minutes to retire 27 consecutive Tampa Bay batters. That made the 30-year-old fast worker's perfection the fastest since Tom Browning's 1:51 job on the Dodgers nearly 21 years ago -- and the seventh-fastest in recorded history. It should be noted that three of the sub-two-hour perfect games occurred early in the 20th century, with no time-of-game stats available for the two authored in 1880. Buehrle's fast pitching pace has served him well through the years, helping keep his defense on its toes to make potentially game-saving plays. That aspect, of course, does not particularly apply to center fielder Dewayne Wise, who had freshly entered the game to make his history-preserving catch off Gabe Kapler's drive in the ninth inning. Seasoned Buehrle watchers were impressed by his perfection, but not necessarily by how quickly he went about achieving it. Time-wise, he has been there, done that. His no-hitter two years ago against the Rangers took the same amount of time -- 2:03. Buehrle's most expedient work, however, had come in an April 16, 2005, victory over the Mariners, a 2-1 decision that had taken all of one hour, 39 minutes. Overall, Buehrle had thrown 23 complete games prior to Thursday's truly "complete" game. Four of them were completed in less than two hours, and the 23 averaged two hours, 13 minutes.
All in good time
|Mark Buehrle||Chicago White Sox||7/23/2009||Tampa Bay Rays||2:03|
|Randy Johnson||Arizona D-backs||5/18/2004||Atlanta Braves||2:13|
|David Cone||New York Yankees||7/18/1999||Montreal Expos||2:16|
|David Wells||New York Yankees||5/17/1998||Minnesota Twins||2:40|
|Kenny Rogers||Texas Rangers||7/28/1994||California Angels||2:08|
|Dennis Martinez||Montreal Expos||7/28/1991||Los Angeles Dodgers||2:14|
|Tom Browning||Cincinnati Reds||9/16/1988||Los Angeles Dodgers||1:51|
|Mike Witt||California Angels||9/30/1984||Texas Rangers||1:49|
|Len Barker||Cleveland Indians||5/15/1981||Toronto Blue Jays||2:09|
|Catfish Hunter||Oakland A's||5/8/1968||Minnesota Twins||2:28|
|Sandy Koufax||Los Angeles Dodgers||9/9/1965||Chicago Cubs||1:43|
|Jim Bunning||Philadelphia Phillies||6/21/1964||New York Mets||2:19|
|Don Larsen||New York Yankees||10/8/1956||Brooklyn Dodgers||2:06|
|Charlie Robertson||Chicago White Sox||4/30/1922||Detroit Tigers||1:55|
|Addie Joss||Cleveland Indians||10/2/1908||Chicago White Sox||1:32|
|Cy Young||Boston Red Sox||5/5/1904||Philadelphia A's||1:25|
|Monte Ward||Providence Grays||6/17/1880||Buffalo Bisons||N/A|
|Lee Richmond||Worcester Ruby Legs||6/12/1880||Cleveland Blues||N/A|
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.