It’s not everyday that you get to see an MLB pitcher throw a perfect game. In fact, it has only been done 23 times over the course of the last 100-plus years—with the last perfect game coming back in August 2012 when Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez accomplished the impressive feat. So when Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill took a perfect game deep into a matchup against the Marlins on Saturday night, sports fans were anxious to see whether or not he could finish it. Especially after Yasiel Puig made this absolutely incredible catch to preserve the perfect game at the end of the 7th inning:
But unfortunately, the perfect game ended for Hill after that play. It’s not because he came out in the bottom of the 8th inning and gave up a walk or a hit, though. Rather, it’s because, after throwing just 89 pitches during the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts inexplicably pulled Hill from the game and didn’t allow him to chase perfection. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time a pitcher has been pulled that deep into a perfect game in MLB's modern era, which dates back to 1900. Reliever Joe Blanton then entered the game and recorded two outs in the eighth before Marlins outfielder Jeff Francouer hit a single to left field. Perfect game over.
At this point, it’s unclear why Roberts decided to pull Hill from the mound in the middle of a perfect game. It could be because he’s trying to preserve the 35-year-old’s arm for the postseason. Or it could be because Hill, who was acquired by the Dodgers from the Athletics in early August, has suffered from blister issues this season. But whatever the case, people were not happy after they realized Roberts had taken Hill out of the game. Here is how everyone reacted to the sudden plot twist:
The Dodgers ended up beating the Marlins 5-0 to advance to 80-61 on the season. But something tells us Hill might actually lose a few hours of sleep over the win tonight.