Wasdin Perfect Game
It was John Wasdin's world on April 7, 2003 in Nashville.
The 30-year-old Nashville Sounds starter fired the first perfect game in the team's 26-year history in a 4-0, 100-pitch victory over the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes at Greer Stadium.
The rare achievement was only the second nine-inning perfect game in the 100-year history of the Pacific Coast League. Tacoma's John Halama threw the first only two seasons ago (July 8, 2001).
Wasdin (1-0) struck out Isotopes pinch-hitter Robert Stratton on four pitches to close the game before he was mobbed by his teammates just in front of the mound following his first start of the 2003 season.
"It hasn't even hit me yet," a humble Wasdin said to a group of reporters on the field following the game. "I'll try to enjoy it but I have to get back to work tomorrow with my running."
Wasdin matched a Nashville individual-game record with 15 strikeouts in the contest, including the final two batters he faced, to etch his name in the record books. Seventy-two of his 100 pitches were thrown for strikes.
Nashville manager Trent Jewett addressed the entire Sounds team about the night's significance in the Greer Stadium clubhouse immediately following the game.
"A lot of you have been in baseball a long time, but what you just witnessed, you'll never see anything more magical or more difficult," Jewett said. "Absolutely unbelievable."
Nashville third baseman Mike Gulan provided the biggest defensive play behind Wasdin, snaring a sharply-hit Matt Treanor line drive back-handed just inside the third-base line to record the first out of the ninth inning. Gulan also made an outstanding barehand play on a Jesus Medrano bunt in the top of the fourth inning to nail the Albuquerque leadoff hitter by a step at first.
The irony in Gulan's contributions to the perfect game is strong because he was on the 2001 Calgary Cannons squad that was on the receiving end of Halama's effort for Tacoma.
Wasdin's perfect game was Nashville's first no-hit effort since Jack Armstrong tossed one against Indianapolis on August 7, 1988, and was the fourth by a Sounds hurler and eighth overall in a game involving the Sounds. Oklahoma City's Rick Helling fired a perfect game against the Sounds in Oklahoma in August 1996.
Lost in the euphoria of Wasdin's achievement is the fact that Nashville pitchers have now posted 34 consecutive shutout innings, dating back four games to the third inning of the season opener on April 3rd against Iowa.
The Sounds opened the night's scoring in the bottom of the second inning, scoring a pair of unearned runs as a result of two Isotopes errors. Adam Hyzdu (1-for-3) doubled the advantage to 4-0 with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the sixth when he belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left-center off Albuquerque starter Nate Teut.
Gulan was sharp at the plate as well as in the field, continuing his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 in the game to improve his average to a team-leading .471 (8-for-17) over the first four games.
Teut (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing all four runs in his 5.0 innings.
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