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27 up, 27 down for Cone
Posted July 18, 1999
NEW YORK -- On a day Don Larsen was celebrated at Yankee
Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game of his own.
Cone dazzled the Montreal Expos with a wide assortment of pitches
Sunday, throwing the 14th perfect game in modern history to lead the
Yankees to a 6-0 victory.
On the very same field where Larsen pitched a
perfect game against Brooklyn in Game 6 of the
1956 World Series - the only one in Series history
- Cone pitched the first no-hitter in the three-year
history of interleague play.
"Once we got that big lead, I really relaxed," Cone
The closest the Expos came to putting a runner
on was when Jose Vidro hit a hard grounder up
the middle with one out in the eighth. Second
baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who has 16 errors
this season, ranged to his right to field the ball,
pivoted and made a perfect throw to first
baseman Tino Martinez to just get Vidro.
Cone (10-4), who got his first shutout in exactly
four years, didn't go to a three-ball count all day
and struck out 10.
When David Wells pitched the only other
regular-season perfect game in Yankees' history,
against Minnesota on May 17, 1998, Cone sat
next to Wells between innings, calming down his
Cone was given a standing ovation when he
walked out to the mound in the ninth, and the
crowd of 41,930 remained on its feet.
Cone struck out Chris Widger, then retired
pinch-hitter Ryan McGuire on a fly to left that
Ricky Ledee almost dropped.
Needing just one more out, pinch-hitter Orlando
Cabrera worked the count to 1-1, then hit a
popup that third baseman Scott Brosius gloved in
foul territory halfway toward the plate for the final
"Until he caught that last ball, I wasn't going to
relax," Cone said.
When Brosius caught the last out, Cone dropped
to his knees and the Yankees rushed out of the
dugout and mobbed him. They then lifted them on
their shoulders and carried to the edge of the
dugout as the crowd waved wildly.
Larsen, still the
only man to throw
a World Series
on from a luxury
box behind the
latest chapter in
Cone threw 88 pitches, nine fewer than Larsen needed for his
no-hitter against the Dodgers.
Cone had pitched three one-hitters in his career, the last on May 22,
1994 against the Angels. But he had never pitched a no-hitter, much
less a perfect game.
The fans sensed the possibility of perfection in the seventh inning.
After Cone got Wilton Guerrero to ground out to third, he got ahead of
James Mouton 1-2. With the fans on their feet urging Cone on, Mouton
swung threw a nasty slider that broke more than one foot off the plate.
Cone used the same pitch to get Rondell White to end the seventh
and received his first of many ovations.
The free-swinging Expos made Cone's job easy, making out early in
the count. Cone did the rest with a biting slider, a devastating splitter
and a hopping fastball.
With his wide assortment of arm angles, a lineup that didn't have any
players who had faced him before was overmatched.
Cone twice had long breaks between innings but didn't appear fazed.
After a five-run second inning by the Yankees off Javier Vazquez (2-5),
Cone came back and struck out the side on 12 pitches in the third.
There was a 33-minute rain delay with one out in the bottom of the
third. Cone needed only seven pitches to get through the fourth.
New York backed him the the big second off Vazquez, recalled from
Triple-A Ottawa before the game. Chili Davis walked with one out and
Ledee hit the next pitch halfway up the upper deck in right field for his
Joe Girardi added an RBI double in the inning and Derek Jeter capped
the scoring with a two-run homer, his 16th.
Notes: Yankees pitched three no-hitters at Yankee Stadium from its
opening in 1923 through 1982: Monte Pearson against Cleveland
(1938), Allie Reynolds against the Indians (1951) and Larsen. Since
then then there have been five: Dave Righetti against Boston (1983);
Jim Abbott against Cleveland (1993), Dwight Gooden against Seattle
(1996); and Wells and Cone. ... It was the first perfect game against
the Expos and fourth no-hitter. Larry Dierker pitched one for Houston
on July 9, 1976; Bob Forsch did it for St. Louis on Sept. 26, 1983; and
Tommy Greene did for Philadelphia on May 23, 1991.
Joe Torre turned 59 Sunday and improved to 6-8 as a manager on his
List of perfect games thrown in
Major League Baseball History
New York (AL)
Los Angeles vs.
Montreal vs. Los
New York vs.
New York vs.
Prior to modern era
Unofficial perfect games
Montreal at San
y-Entered game after starter Babe Ruth walked Ray
Morgan, and following an argument, was ejected by
umpire Brick Owens. Morgan was caught stealing and
Shore retired the remaining 26 batters.
z-Pitched 12 perfect innings, lost in 13th on an error,
sacrifice bunt, walk and double.
a-Pitched 9 perfect innings, allowed leadoff double in
10th and was replaced by Mel Rojas, who finished
one-hitter in 1-0 win.
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