One of the peculiarities of baseball is that in some of the most memorable games, very little happens. So it was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill pitched eight perfect innings, until Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer got on base on an error in the bottom of the ninth. Hill still had a no-hitter when the 0-0 game went into extra innings, and then Josh Harrison stepped up to plate in the bottom of the 10th.
Harrison's leadoff homer ended the game and Hill's (9-5) no-hitter, giving Pittsburgh the win and Hill the loss.
According to ESPN's statisticians, Hill still walked away with a record of sorts, albeit one he probably didn't want.
The last perfect game — where a pitcher doesn't allow any runner to reach base — in the major leagues was in 2012, when Seattle's Felix Hernandez shut down Tampa Bay. Los Angeles could have retired Hill after nine innings, but according to The Associated Press, "to get official credit for a no-hitter under Major League Baseball rules, a pitcher must complete the game — going nine innings isn't enough if it goes into extras." Still, cold comfort though it may be, Hill isn't alone in coming close and losing it all, AP notes: "Back in 1959, a Pirates pitcher had perhaps the most famous near-miss of all when Harvey Haddix lost his perfect game and the game itself in the 13th at Milwaukee."