A plethora of perfectos

What's with the explosion of perfect games in the last 11 months? There have been just 17 no-hitters and perfect games in the last 10 years, but all of a sudden they're nearly as commonplace as Phillies' shutout losses.

Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game last July 23; Dallas Braden was perfect May 6, and Roy Halladay entered the history books Saturday.

The last time there were two perfect games in one month was - are you ready for this? - June of 1880. (That's so long ago, the Union consisted of only 38 states).

On June 12 of that long-ago season, John Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs was perfect in a 1-0 win over Cleveland. Just five days later the famous John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays was perfect against Buffalo, beating fellow future Hall of Famer Pud Galvin, 5-0.

There would not be another perfect game in the National League for 84 years - Jim Bunning's in 1964.

Buy your own piece of history

Since Halladay's perfecto took place in Miami Gardens, Fla., most Phillies fans weren't there in person.

But now you can pretend that you were.

On Tuesday, the money-hungry Florida Marlins will begin selling unused tickets from that game. All tickets will be regularly priced and will be sold online and through the Marlins' box office.

Strasburg's on the way

Flame-throwing righthander Stephen Strasburg will make his major league debut against Pittsburgh on June 8, the Washington Nationals said on Monday.

The 21-year-old - the top overall pick in last sumer's draft - will start for triple-A Syracuse on Thursday. In 10 minor-league starts, Strasburg is 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA.


The Chicago Cubs brought pitcher Andrew Cashner - their first-round draft pick in 2008 - from triple-A Iowa and put lefthanded reliever John Grabow on the disabled list with left knee inflammation. . . . Pittsburgh benched its highest-paid player, second baseman Aki Iwamura, who makes $4.85 million but was hitting .173, the third-lowest average in the majors for an everyday player.