Carlos Rodón was one slider away from perfection.
On Wednesday, the White Sox starting pitcher pitched a no-hitter, but not since Armando Galarraga’s imperfect game has there been such a heartbreaking closing inning: While Rodon ended up with the no-no, he plunked catcher Roberto Perez on the foot on a slider that just got away from him, ending the perfect game bid with one out in the ninth.
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Rodón, though, wasn’t too broken up about it.
“All you can do is laugh about it. It wasn’t meant to be,” he said after the game. “… I’d have let it hit me, too.”
White Sox pitcher Carlos Ródon hits Indians catcher Roberto Pérez in the foot with one out in the ninth to break up his perfect game. Absolutely brutal.
No-no still intact, though. pic.twitter.com/BY7J8FCKoq
— Andersen Pickard (@AndersenPickard) April 15, 2021
Perez admitted to knowing there was a no-hitter in the works, but was seemingly unaware that a perfect game was in the making.
Roberto Perez on the HBP: “To be honest, I really didn’t think he had a perfect game until I got hit. I thought he had a no-hitter going on, but I really didn’t think he had a perfect game. So, it’s hard, man. I’m not gonna try to stand there and get hit, you know?”
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) April 15, 2021
“To be honest, I really didn’t think he had a perfect game until I got hit,” he said after the game. “I thought he had a no-hitter going on, but I really didn’t think he had a perfect game. So, it’s hard, man. I’m not gonna try to stand there and get hit, you know?”
Well, stand there and get hit is exactly what Perez did, and the Cleveland catcher got some criticism for not making an effort to get out of the way.
Roberto Perez would’ve been an all-time heel if he’d faked that HBP
— Jon Tayler, Top 0.1% On OnlyJons (@JATayler) April 15, 2021
Absolutely disgraceful by Roberto Perez to not get out the way. The white sox need to protest
— Phill 🚀 (@MeekPhill_) April 15, 2021
In any case, Rodón enters the record books with the second no-hitter of the 2021 season — and he enters fans’ memory banks for another brutal brush with baseball immortality.