Edwin Diaz Mar 13, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Puerto Rico pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) delivers a pitch during the sixth inning against Israel at LoanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

In the five previous editions of the World Baseball Classic, there has never been a perfect game. That is, until Monday night, as Puerto Rico pitched a combined perfect game against Israel.

Four pitchers in total contributed to the perfect game. José De León pitched almost six perfect innings and was only pulled due to hitting the 65-pitch limit. Yacksel Ríos, Edwin Díaz, and Duane Underwood Jr. pitched the rest of the game.

This game ended in eight innings, thanks to the mercy rule, as Puerto Rico scored the clinching tenth run. Just hearing the words “walk off perfect game” is strange, but that’s the magic of the World Baseball Classic.

Many took notice of the game, specifically noting the sheer absurdity of the circumstances.

Right now, Puerto Rico is in a position to advance to the knockout stage. Still, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will make it difficult in Group D. If the Dominican Republic beats Israel Tuesday, that moves them past Puerto Rico for second. Regardless, it’s likely going to come down to a must-win for both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to see who has the best chance to finish second. Puerto Rico having the benefit of a day off might give them the edge.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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