Four Puerto Rian pitchers faced 24 batters during their game against Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic on Monday. None of those batters reached base in their eight inning, 10-0 victory.
Technically, the game will not be considered an official perfect game. WBC games are being held to the same standards as major league contests. However, with the mercy rule and limits as to how many pitches can be thrown, those standards seem unrealistic.
It’s still a World Baseball Classic perfect game for Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican team does not care what the Elias Sports Bureau or anyone else have to say. As starter Jose De Leon said, it’s perfect to them. Considering that he tied a WBC record by striking out ten batters in his 5.2 innings, firing 64 pitches as he worked around four three ball counts, De Leon should have a say.
There is a strange desire to quantify everything within a specific set of perimeters in baseball. Eight inning no hitters are no longer considered valid despite the fact that the pitcher(s) did not allow a hit during a complete game. Madison Bumgarner fired a seven inning no-hitter in 2021, a complete game due to MLB’s rules involving doubleheaders that year; yet it is not officially considered one.
In the end, it does not matter what anyone thinks. That quartet of pitchers – De Leon, Yacksel Rios, Edwin Diaz, and Duane Underwood Jr. – did not allow a single baserunner in their game against the Israeli National Team. Whether that game was nine innings, eight, or whatever, it was within the defined timeframe for the WBC. They have every right to claim perfection.
The Puerto Rico team made history in the World Baseball Classic. They fired a perfect game, no matter what the official rules may dictate.