Yesterday Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched the 22nd perfect game in major league baseball.  Philip Humber (White Sox) had one back in April, so there have been 2 this year.  As a matter of fact, there have been 5 perfect games since July 2009. What a bunch. This is the same sport that had no perfect games at all from April 30, 1922 to October 8, 1956, over 34 years.

Some people will, without a doubt, do complete analyses and somehow tie it in to weight rooms, pitch counts, night games, who knows what.  On an individual basis, these and other factors might sway the odds of any specific pitcher having a perfect game on any given night, but any attempt to analyze that completely brings in so many variables as to be essentially undoable.

I prefer to view it as just another clumping of outcomes due to the true nature of random outcomes.  Kind of like flipping a coin and getting heads 32 times in a row. If you flip 100 times, the odds are extremely high that you will not get a run of 32 heads. Flip the coin 1,000,000 times, and the odds have changed drastically. (See here)

The issue is similar to a hole-in-one in golf. Anybody can get one. I even had one (5th hole, Fairways of Halfmoon, 9/20/2010, 8 iron). Getting a hole in one is a random event. However, skilled golfers who cluster their tee shots on the green have a better chance than the typical Saturday hacker. Extremely skilled golfers who can consistently shoot near the pin have an even better chance. The skills we have effect the probability of getting a hole-in-one. But actually getting one, that’s luck.

Back to perfect games. The fact that there has been a bit of clumping lately might be indicative of a bit of increase in pitching skill relative to hitting, but it would take months if not years of research and analysis to enable one to come to that conclusion.

I find it amazing that there will be people who agree with what I have said here so far, yet claim to be experts regarding “climate change.”


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