© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

07/23/09 8:06 PM ET

Perfect timing: Frantic pace for Buehrle

Sox ace takes just two hours, three minutes in masterpiece

By definition, "nothing" happens in a perfect game, so it shouldn't take long.

Add to the equation a left-hander whose even mundane efforts are considered "perfect games" in the senses of pace and efficiency, and the historic result is what Mark Buehrle tendered Thursday afternoon.

The White Sox ace, who ordinarily pitches as if double-parked, became a double-no-hit pitcher with history's 18th perfecto.

In Buehrle's hands, it took a mere two hours, three minutes to retire 27 consecutive Tampa Bay batters.

That made the 30-year-old fast worker's perfection the fastest since Tom Browning's 1:51 job on the Dodgers nearly 21 years ago -- and the seventh-fastest in recorded history.

It should be noted that three of the sub-two-hour perfect games occurred early in the 20th century, with no time-of-game stats available for the two authored in 1880.

Buehrle's fast pitching pace has served him well through the years, helping keep his defense on its toes to make potentially game-saving plays.

That aspect, of course, does not particularly apply to center fielder Dewayne Wise, who had freshly entered the game to make his history-preserving catch off Gabe Kapler's drive in the ninth inning.

Seasoned Buehrle watchers were impressed by his perfection, but not necessarily by how quickly he went about achieving it.

Time-wise, he has been there, done that.

His no-hitter two years ago against the Rangers took the same amount of time -- 2:03.

Buehrle's most expedient work, however, had come in an April 16, 2005, victory over the Mariners, a 2-1 decision that had taken all of one hour, 39 minutes.

Overall, Buehrle had thrown 23 complete games prior to Thursday's truly "complete" game. Four of them were completed in less than two hours, and the 23 averaged two hours, 13 minutes.

All in good time
Clocking in at just two hours, three minutes, Mark Buehrle's perfect game was the seventh fastest perfecto in Major League history and the fastest since Tom Browning's 21 years ago.
Mark Buehrle Chicago White Sox7/23/2009Tampa Bay Rays2:03
Randy Johnson Arizona D-backs5/18/2004Atlanta Braves2:13
David Cone New York Yankees7/18/1999Montreal Expos2:16
David Wells New York Yankees5/17/1998Minnesota Twins2:40
Kenny Rogers Texas Rangers7/28/1994California Angels2:08
Dennis Martinez Montreal Expos7/28/1991Los Angeles Dodgers2:14
Tom Browning Cincinnati Reds9/16/1988Los Angeles Dodgers1:51
Mike Witt California Angels9/30/1984Texas Rangers1:49
Len Barker Cleveland Indians5/15/1981Toronto Blue Jays2:09
Catfish Hunter Oakland A's5/8/1968Minnesota Twins2:28
Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers9/9/1965Chicago Cubs1:43
Jim Bunning Philadelphia Phillies6/21/1964New York Mets2:19
Don Larsen New York Yankees10/8/1956Brooklyn Dodgers2:06
Charlie Robertson Chicago White Sox4/30/1922Detroit Tigers1:55
Addie Joss Cleveland Indians10/2/1908Chicago White Sox1:32
Cy Young Boston Red Sox5/5/1904Philadelphia A's1:25
Monte Ward Providence Grays6/17/1880Buffalo BisonsN/A
Lee Richmond Worcester Ruby Legs6/12/1880Cleveland BluesN/A

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.