"Alexeiiiiiiiiii...Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Five years ago today, Mark Buehrle retired all 27 batters he faced to become the 18th pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game. He did it before it was cool — since July 23, 2009, there have been five perfect games, including one by then-White Sox starter Philip Humber in 2012.
Buehrle's fastball-changeup-cutter arsenal kept Tampa Bay off balance, with only one player making really solid contact all afternoon. Of course, that was Gabe Kapler, who ripped a 3-2 changeup to deep center that resulted in one of the most memorable plays in White Sox history:
Buehrle was the star of the day, but he couldn't have done it without the help of three sparingly-used players: Outfielder Dewayne Wise, who made the spectacular catch; backup catcher Ramon Castro, who caught the game; and infielder Josh Fields, who ripped a second-inning grand slam to give Buehrle an early cushion.
Back in 2009, Buehrle's fastball averaged 85.7 miles per hour — the third-slowest fastball velocity of any starting pitcher in baseball that year. Consider this: Nine pitchers threw harder changeups that Buehrle's fastball that year, including two guys who threw perfect games in 2012 (Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez).
Relive Buehrle's final out in the GIF below.