Tonight, Royals starter Jorge Lopez flirted with history.
Tonight, for about 150 minutes, Jorge Lopez was untouchable.
And tonight, Jorge Lopez exited the game with eight innings pitched, one walk, one hit, and one earned run allowed.
Baseball is fickle. In the bottom of the ninth, Jorge Lopez stood on the precipice of Major League Baseball’s 22nd perfect game in the modern era. He walked Max Kepler, and gave up a hit to Robbie Grossman, and it was over.
The Royals scored four runs tonight. Three singles, one double, and some guys named Whit and Alex. The Twins, too, scored a run — Ehire Adrianza had a sacrifice fly in the game’s final moments.
But nobody will really remember that.
I don’t remember the final score to Scott Baker’s bid for perfection against these same Kansas City Royals. I don’t remember who drove in runs for the Tigers when Armando Galarraga was tearfully denied his deserved accomplishment.
So, too, will Jorge Yabiel Lopez — a 25-year-old Puerto Rican righty making his seventh major-league start — fade into history. The rest of baseball has already moved on. Twins fans will likely forget the details (we know Mauer excels at breaking up bids, but how many of us could recall against which team? Or which pitcher?)
Some Royals fans will remember, their franchise never having seen 27 men head to the plate and 27 men return to the dugout on their behalf.
Whether his last major-league pitch comes twenty years from now, or has already happened, Jorge Lopez will remember. For two shining hours on a cool September evening, Jorge Lopez was the best pitcher on the planet.
Jorge Lopez (8+ IP, 1 H, 1 ER, BB, 4 K)
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