MLB: Best Moments of June 2012
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There were some crazy moments in the month of June on the diamond. There was a perfect game, a long streak broken by the Mets, a combined no-hitter and a wacky ejection—and that was all in interleague play.
If that was a spoiler, sorry to ruin the moment, but the top moment in the sixth month of the calendar year was the June 2 masterpiece thrown by Johan Santana and the Mets. Where do the other moments rank?
In this slideshow, here is a look at the top five moments of the month of June in Major League Baseball.
No. 5: Mariners Throw Combined No-Hitter
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June 9—Kevin Millwood went out before the top of the sixth against Los Angeles thinking everything was going scheduled as planned.
As he was making his warm-up throws, his groin thought otherwise. Six innings was all Millwood could throw for the Mariners, but his buddies in the bullpen had his back.
It was the 10th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and the first since the Astros did in 2003 (in interleague play) against the Yankees.
Other Mariners pitchers who contributed to the combined no-no included Tom Wilhelmsen, Brandon League and Lucas Luetge.
No. 4: Youk Says Goodbye
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June 24—When being with a team for so long, it's hard to say goodbye once a player with tenure has been traded. Baseball, likewise with the other professional sports, is a business, and business in Boston included sending Kevin Youkilis off to Chicago.
Youkilis was shocked that his time with Boston was done June 24:
“It was definitely very surreal. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I got pinch-ran for," he tells the Boston Herald.
Youkilis spent all nine of his seasons at Fenway Park, and those who played around him always admired how he played the game.
In those nine years with the Red Sox, Youk had 564 RBI, had a batting average of .287 and has knocked out 133 home runs.
Youkilis has four RBI with the White Sox going into July 2 and has yet to hear a homerun call from Hawk Harrelson.
Stats were obtained from baseball-reference.com.
No. 3: Peralta Uses Pine Tar
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June 19—You remember that scene in Major League where the old pitcher tells Rick Vaughn to use anything and everything on his body to gain an advantage on the mound?
Maybe Tampa Bay's Joel Peralta took that advice to heart.
Before coming into pitch against the Washington Nationals, the home Nats had a hunch about something—and they were right about it.
Peralta used to pitch for the Nationals, and Nationals manager Davey Johnson played that card to his advantage.
Johnson asked the umpiring crew to inspect the opposing pitcher's glove, and as a result, the men in black confiscated the glove as if they were government officials and Peralta was not allowed to play that night.
His walk to the mound ended with an early shower in the clubhouse.
After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon called the challenge "cowardly," which spewed a small feud between the two managers.
Maddon used his own power to check the glove of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg the next night to continue the chess match.
Peralta, however, came in to pitch the very next night and threw with teammate Jeremy Hellickson's glove.
No. 2: Raising Cain
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June 13—Matt Cain had electric stuff; his stuff was so good that some say it was the greatest game thrown in baseball history.
Most times Cain has to throw with little run support, but the baseball gods wanted to fix that—and then some.
Impressively, the Giants scored 10 runs in one game. More impressive: Cain throws a perfect game on top of that.
Make that the 22nd perfect game in MLB history.
Cain threw 125 pitches on the night while 86 of them were for a strike. He also threw for 14 strikeouts and had a game score of 101, according to ESPN.com.
He also had 19 of 27 first pitch strikes.
No matter which way it's scored, the Astros scorecard was clean that night. 27 went to the plate, and 27 Astros were retired.
No. 1: No-Han: Johan Santana Throws Mets First No-Hitter
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June 1—The New York Mets have played over 8,000 games in their franchise history. During that long time span, not one pitcher threw a no-hitter. Johan Santana changed that as the calendar turned to June 2012.
Of course, they came close. Make that 35 close calls. After throwing 35 one-hitters, Santana did not allow a hit.
Santana's line: 134 pitches (career high), 77 strikes (18 first pitch strikes) eight strikeouts, five walks, but it wasn't without controversy.
During the sixth inning, Carlos Beltran hit a line drive just over third base that he thought was fair. Third base umpire Adrian Johnson disagreed.
However, the replay doesn't lie—the ball appeared to hit the chalk. Nevertheless, the play was called foul, and the Mets responded by carrying out the duty to give the franchise its first no-hitter.