While we slept, a 20-year-old in Japan may have pitched the greatest game in history

While we all slept, history was made in Japan, as Roki Sasaki of the Chiba Lotte Marines threw the first NPB perfect game since 1994. What’s more, the 20-year-old struck out 19 while doing it. Oh, and his catcher was a rookie named Ko (or Koh) Matsukawa… who is only 18.

To declare anything the greatest game ever pitched regardless of level is likely a fool’s errand, but there is a thing called Game Score. The highest game score in a 9-inning game in MLB history was Kerry Wood‘s famous 20 strikeout game in 1998, which scored a 105. The second-highest was Max Scherzer‘s 17-K no-hitter in 2015, which was 104.

Now, I’m not great at math, but it appears that Sasaki’s game score is 106. The only game I can think of off the top of my head that has that beat is Ron Necciai‘s Class-D 27 strikeout no-hitter back in 1952, which had a 112 game score (the maximum 114 minus a walk and a HBP).

Regardless of era, league, level, or country, however, Sasaki’s performance against the Orix Buffaloes will no doubt stand for all time as one of the greatest pitching performances ever.

1 thought on “While we slept, a 20-year-old in Japan may have pitched the greatest game in history

  1. Pingback: While we slept, Roki Sasaki nearly did it again | The Baseball Continuum

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