Umpire behind plate for second perfect game

Associated Press Modified: June 14, 2012 at 3:31 am •  Published: June 14, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Major league pitchers are going to start demanding Ted Barrett for their starts.

Not necessarily for his mastery of the strike zone. Simply because he's a good luck charm with a mask.

Barrett was behind the plate Wednesday night when San Francisco Giants' right-hander Matt Cain pitched a perfect game against the Houston Astros in a 10-0 victory. He also was the home plate umpire when David Cone threw his perfect game for the New York Yankees in a 6-0 win over the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999. It makes Barrett the first major league umpire to call balls and strikes for two perfect games.

And if pitchers ask for Barrett, they might want Brian Runge as well.

Runge, who was at third base for Cain's gem, was behind the plate when six Seattle pitchers combined for a 1-0 no-hit win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last week and for Philip Humber's perfect game for the Chicago White Sox against the Mariners on April 21.

Barrett said experience has shown him when he might be a witness to baseball history.

"As the game goes on, you look up on the board, you see zero hits and you see the guy's facing the minimum and you know he's throwing the ball pretty well, locating his spots," Barrett said. "And so, there's been a lot of times I've thought 'This guy, he could be unhittable tonight.'"

Cain was in that place, according to Barrett. It was in contrast to Cone's effort.