The blown call came with two outs in the ninth inning and Galarraga on the verge of becoming the first Detroit pitcher and just the 21st in Major League history to throw a perfect game. It came on a routine ground ball fielded by first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who flipped the ball to Galarraga, who was covering the base. The toss clearly beat baserunner Jason Donald, but when umpire Jim Joyce signaled "safe," it went into the books as an infield hit.
A perfect game is more rare than a no-hitter, because it requires that no one reach base, even by a walk or on an error.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he would not change the call, but will look into expanded use of replay.
“It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the (stuff) out of it,” Joyce said, looking and sounding distraught as he paced in the umpires’ locker room. “I just cost that kid a perfect game.”
“I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay,” he said after the Tigers’ 3-0 win over Cleveland.
Galarraga showed uncommon grace after the game, accepting Joyce's face-to-face apology.
“You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry,”’ Galarraga said. “He felt really bad. He didn’t even shower.”