DETROIT -- Jim Leyland knows all too well the heartbreak of a pitcher being one out from history and having the moment taken away from him. That might be partly why the Tigers' skipper said Sunday he was "thrilled" and "glad" the umpire called strike three to give White Sox pitcher Philip Humber the 21st perfect game in Major League history.
"I was thrilled for the kid," Leyland said. "I'm absolutely thrilled for him."
The debate can go either way. When Humber made a 3-2 pitch to Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, on first glance, it seemed like Ryan might have checked his swing and earned a walk with two outs in the ninth. Home-plate umpire Brian Runge quickly ruled that Ryan went around.
"I couldn't really tell on the TV if he really went or not," Leyland said. "It looked real close."
The moment brought back memories of Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game on June 2, 2010, in the Tigers' clubhouse. In that game, Galarraga threw 8 2/3 perfect innings before a blown call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce spoiled the celebration and sparked controversy in the Motor City.