Kansas City Royals: What was Jorge Lopez so close to achieving?
Newly acquired Jorge Lopez was making just his seventh start for the Kansas City Royals. The 25 year old hurler showed that he has what it takes to be a force in the starting rotation for years to come.
The Kansas City Royals had a great showing against the Minnesota Twins tonight. The win was only overshadowed by the performance of Jorge Lopez. Lopez was three outs away from a Perfect Game. After walking the first batter of the ninth inning, Lopez also surrendered a hit before recording any outs in the ninth.
The Kansas City Royals have not recorded a Perfect Game in franchise history, and there have only been 24 in MLB history. Lopez would have joined an elite list of names, if he were to achieve the feat, and he would have been the first ever for the Royals.
While he also came close to a no-hitter, he would have been just the fifth in Royals history.
Kansas City No-Hitters
Had Jorge Lopez been able to hold the Minnesota Twins hit-less, he would have joined a list of just three other pitchers. Steve Busby was the first pitcher to toss a no-hitter, first against the Detroit Tigers in April of 1973. He then secured another no-hitter just over a year later, in June of 1974 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Both of Busby’s came on enemy territory.
Jim Colborn was the first Royal to earn a hit-less bid on home turf in May of 1977 against the Texas Rangers. And finally, the last no-hitter tossed by a Kansas City Royals pitcher occurred on August 26, 1991. Bret Saberhagen toed the rubber for the Royals and secured a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, in a game which Kansas City won 7-0 at Royals Stadium.
The most interesting thing about Lopez’s near Perfect Game is that of his 110 pitches, a mere 68 of them were strikes. He only recorded four strikeouts. Eight of his outs were recorded on ground balls, and twelve outs were recorded on fly balls caught.
Though Jorge Lopez was unable to secure either the Perfect Game or the no-hitter, he did show that he has the legitimacy to fare well in the rotation in years to come. He is a mere 25 years old, so he remains a player to be excited about going into the 2019 season.