Even if they're the first defending league champion to be on the wrong side of the perfecto, the Rays also rank high among victims with a 52-44 (.542) mark following the historic night. Only six other teams had higher winning percentages at the time of the event, and the Rays ended a run of losing opponents in perfect games.
The last four victims -- 2004 Braves vs. Randy Johnson, 1999 Expos vs. David Cone, '98 Twins vs. David Wells, '94 Angels vs. Kenny Rogers -- all had losing records at the time of the feat.
Overall, after being subjected to a perfecto, 10 clubs had losing records following that game and eight were at .500 or better. Of the seven winning teams before the Rays, six went on to have a winning record, with the lone exception the '68 Twins, who went from 13-12 to 79-83. Of those with a losing record when it happened, only three went on to have a winning record, including the 2004 Braves, who won the AL East.
Of course, the Rays aren't the only team with World Series ties to have a perfect night spoil theirs.
Remember, the pitching performance of the century was delivered in
the 1956 World Series, when Don Larsen went through the Brooklyn Dodgers' order three times without faltering. That marked the only time a reigning World Series champ was on the losing end of a perfecto and the only other time a defending league champion had been victimized.
And the '88 Dodgers, while not coming off a World Series, went to the Fall Classic and won it the same year the Reds' Tom Browning dealt a perfect game against them. In fact, it came with just 16 games left in the regular season, on Sept. 16.
Not surprisingly, those two Dodgers teams are the winningest to have surrendered a perfect game. The '56 Dodgers finished 93-61 that year, and the '88 Dodgers were 84-61 and finished 94-67.
The other teams with better records than the Rays at the time they had a perfect game thrown their way: '91 Dodgers vs. Dennis Martinez, 56-41; '86 Twins vs. Catfish Hunter, 13-12; 1908 White Sox vs. Addie Joss, 85-63; and the 1880 Cleveland Blues vs. Lee Richmond, 12-10.
On the flip side, the 1964 Mets might have to go down as the losingest opponent in a perfect game, with a 20-46 mark after the Phillies' Jim Bunning, the future Hall of Famer and U.S. Senator, went perfect against them, and winding up 53-109 for the season. Or perhaps that should go to the 1880 Buffalo Bisons, who were 8-18 when Monte Ward of the Providence Grays went perfect on them, and they stampeded to a 24-58 mark.
The Rays certainly don't fit into that conversation, but that's probably little consolation for being on the wrong side of perfection.
Wrong side of a perfect game
|What's next for the Rays, now that they've beat beaten by Mark Buehrle and the White Sox in a perfect game? Here's what past history has shown happens to clubs after they lost a perfect game.|
Opp record after game
Opp Final record
|Mark Buehrle ||Chicago White Sox||7/23/2009||Tampa Bay Rays||52-44||???|
|Randy Johnson ||Arizona D-Backs||5/18/2004||Atlanta Braves||17-20||96-66*|
|David Cone ||New York Yankees||7/18/1999||Montreal Expos||33-55||68-94|
|David Wells ||New York Yankees||5/17/1998||Minnesota Twins||18-24||70-92|
|Kenny Rogers ||Texas Rangers||7/28/1994||California Angels||42-61||47-68|
|Dennis Martinez ||Montreal Expos||7/28/1991||Los Angeles Dodgers||56-41||93-69|
|Tom Browning ||Cincinnati Reds||9/16/1988||Los Angeles Dodgers||84-61||94-67**|
|Mike Witt ||California Angels||9/30/1984||Texas Rangers||69-92||69-92|
|Len Barker ||Cleveland Indians||5/15/1981||Toronto Blue Jays||10-22||37-69|
|Catfish Hunter ||Oakland A's||5/8/1968||Minnesota Twins||13-12||79-83|
|Sandy Koufax ||Los Angeles Dodgers||9/9/1965||Chicago Cubs||65-77||72-90|
|Jim Bunning ||Philadelphia Phillies||6/21/1964||New York Mets||20-46||53-109|
|Don Larsen ||New York Yankees||10/8/1956||Brooklyn Dodgers||93-61||93-61***|
|Charlie Robertson ||Chicago White Sox||4/30/1922||Detroit Tigers||4-11||79-75|
|Addie Joss ||Cleveland Indians||10/2/1908||Chicago White Sox||85-63||88-64|
|Cy Young ||Boston Red Sox||5/5/1904||Philadelphia A's||7-7||81-70|
|Monte Ward ||Providence Grays||6/17/1880||Buffalo Bisons||8-18||24-58|
|Lee Richmond ||Worcester Ruby Legs||6/12/1880||Cleveland Blues||12-10||47-37|
|* Won NL East|
** Won World Series
*** Occurred in World Series