Have the Toronto Blue Jays ever thrown a perfect game?

Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels
Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels / Owen C. Shaw/GettyImages

The Blue Jays may have only been around since 1977, but they have achieved plenty to be proud of. Top of the list is undoubtedly winning two World Series, in 1992 and 1993.

In terms of individual accomplishments, again, the Blue Jays have achieved plenty. However, one accolade to allude them thus far, is a perfect game by a pitcher.

In fairness to the Blue Jays, there have only been 23 official perfect games in Major League history. Further highlighting how difficult such an accomplishment is, no pitcher has ever thrown more than one.

Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, one of those perfect games was against them, in 1981 at Cleveland. Len Barker took 103 pitches to achieve the feat, in a 3-0 win for the home side in front of just 7,290 fans.

The standard for Blue Jays pitching

The closest any Blue Jay came to a perfect game was Dave Stieb, in 1989 versus the New York Yankees. The attempt was ruined, after he gave up a double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Even though Stieb just missed out on a perfect game, he does have the honour of the only no-hitter in club history. He accomplished this just one year after his failed perfect game bid, in Cleveland.

If anyone deserved to get a no-hitter it was Stieb, and not just because he was a seven-time All-Star during his tenure in Toronto. Four times previously he had lost no-hitters in the ninth inning, including
three occasions with just one out remaining.

However, Stieb finally got his precious no-hitter in a 3-0 win in Cleveland on Sept. 2 1990. It also proved to be well-timed, towards the end of his final year of being a full-time starter in the Blue Jays rotation.

What could have been

It stands to reason that the Blue Jay with the most realistic chance to achieve a no-hitter or perfect game after Stieb, would be the late, great Roy Halladay. Ironically, one of his very best opportunities came way before he had established himself as the staff ace, during his first year pitching in the Majors.

Halladay only made two starts during 1998. However, his second one versus the Tigers in Toronto was agonizingly close to being extra special.

The Hall of Famer coasted through eight innings and found himself just one out away from a no-hitter in the top of the ninth. Fate had other ideas though, as he subsequently gave up a solo home run

Halladay did still achieve a 2-1 win, but it was an early sign of what he was capable of. He would go on to achieve a perfect game and then a postseason no-hitter in 2010, albeit both after his trade to

Near perfection for one day

Another pitcher who had a chance at a no-hitter was Brandon Morrow. The opportunity came on Aug. 8, 2010, versus the Rays in Toronto.

Morrow was a mercurial talent, equally capable of mesmerizing and frustrating team mates and fans alike. On the day in question, it was definitely a case of the former.

Morrow showed exactly what he was capable of against the Rays, climbing heights he'd never reached before. As was the case with Halladay before him though, he came up just one out short of a no-hitter.

The no-hit bid ended, courtesy of a two-out single by Evan Longoria in the ninth inning. The 2006 fifth overall draft pick recovered, to get the final out in a 1-0 win.

Morrow also recorded 17 strikes, to fall just one short of Roger Clemens' club record. Overall, the outing goes down as one of the best pitching performances ever by a Blue Jay.

Honourable mentions

A couple of other Blue Jays pitchers who deserve some recognition, are David Cone and Dustin McGowan. Both also took no-hit bids into the ninth inning.

Cone's bid for a no-hitter took place at the then SkyDome in 1995, versus the Texas Rangers. Through eight innings only one runner had reached base, and that was via an error to begin the game.

The 1994 AL Cy Young winner then locked it down and was on course for a no-hitter with just two outs remaining. A single ended the bid, although Cone went on to pitch a perfect game for the Yankees in 1999.

As for McGowan, his opportunity came during 2007 against the Colorado Rockies, in Toronto. His dream came to an end after a lead-off single in the top of the ninth, although he still completed the game in a 5-0 shutout.