Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher Tyler Mahle will never forget this past Saturday at Hank Aaron Stadium. Neither will the fans. In one of baseball's rarest feats, Mahle pitched a perfect game! 27 batters faced, none of them reached base.
The last time a Southern League pitcher had a 9-inning perfect game was all the way back in 1970 -- 47 years ago! Most baseball fans will never see one in person, whether at the minor league or major league level.
I was cheering for the BayBears, but by the 7th or 8th inning, I was cheering for Mahle to get it done. And although there wasn't any scoring or baserunners, the game was intense and reminded me what I love about America's national pastime. Pensacola's field players were all in to support Mahle, and pulled off a couple of sparkling defensive plays to preserve the perfecto!
It was thrilling to see such a great crowd for the game -- nearly 5,000 fans in attendance to witness this masterful performance. You could feel the tension in the crowd, and most fans were doing their best not to say a word about it. After all, baseball is a very superstitious sport.
I do feel bad for Mobile's pitcher, though. Tyler Carpenter was on the mound for the BayBears and gave up just two hits. He retired 19 batters in a row to end the game. His performance on any other day would have been noteworthy, but this was Tyler Mahle's night.
I'll probably never see a perfect game again in person. Thanks Tyler Mahle, this was special.