07/23/09 10:35 PM ET
Rest of MLB applauds Buehrle's perfecto
From former teammates to division rivals, all are impressed
By Lisa Winston / MLB.com
Among the most respectful, though least surprised, was his former rotation mate and current Arizona starter Jon Garland.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Garland, teammates with Buehrle from 2001-2007, who called Buehrle after the game. "It doesn't surprise me one bit. The guy is amazing. Some of the stuff he's done over his career, there's a chance he can do that every time he steps on the field."
San Francisco Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who got to enjoy the honor of being the last pitcher in the big leagues to throw a no-hitter for fewer than two weeks (his came on July 10), was able to identify with how elated Buehrle must be feeling right about now.
"When you see somebody else throw one, it's a good feeling," said Sanchez, though he jokingly reminded folks that he was still the last pitcher "in the National League" to throw a no-no.
Another former teammate in Chicago, current Minnesota Twins third baseman Joe Crede, used the new technology to congratulate his old friend, sending him a text message after the game.
"I was there the last time he had a no-hitter," Crede said. "He is the type of guy to always make his teammates feel comfortable out there. He is always still there talking to everybody and if it is going to happen, it is going to happen, and if not, not. He is just out there pitching and kind of old school."
Oakland Athletics shortstop Orlando Cabrera, another Buehrle teammate with the White Sox, confirmed Crede's suspicion that Buehrle wasn't the type to adhere to "no-hitter superstition," such as sitting alone in the dugout between innings and not talking to anyone while it was in progress.
"He probably was talking during the whole thing," Cabrera said. "He's not superstitious. He hates that. A lot of pitchers don't want to talk and sit by himself during it, but he was probably in there talking about the perfect game."
Cabrera was thrilled for his old teammate and friend and equally delighted for what this kind of accomplishment does for the game as a whole.
"This is good for baseball," he said. "When you see something like that, it's history. It's history in the making. You want it to happen. I really believe everyone here wanted that to happen."
Angels pitcher John Lackey, who came close to throwing a no-hitter himself in 2008 when he held the Red Sox hitless into the ninth inning, was among those who felt that Buehrle was just the kind of pitcher to be able to accomplish the feat.
"He's not a guy who's overpowering and he works quick," he said. "He forces teams to swing the bat. He got that one defensive play but he was cruising. He's fun to watch."
That "one defensive play" was a web gem by late-game defensive replacement center fielder Dewayne Wise in the ninth inning and that got some love from his fellow big leaguers as well.
"With the situation, you have to put that way high on the list. To save a perfect game in the ninth inning, especially coming off the bench, is a pretty special play," said Lackey. "That's the play of the century."
New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain, watching the game on TV in the clubhouse, had this advice for the winning pitcher: "Go give Dewayne Wise a big hug."
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.