After he went down swinging - or not - Brendan Ryan registered his disagreement with umpire Brian Runge in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Chicago. But the M's infielder wouldn't comment afterwards on whether Runge got the call wrong, handing White Sox pitcher Philip Humber the 21st perfect no-hit, no-run game in major league history. Ryan remains silent but fans and writers have happily carried on the debate since, even creating a website called didbrendanryanswing.com, where most everyone seems to agree: he swung.
The website's unidentified creator clearly agrees: Site visitors are greeted by a still-frame shot from the video of Ryan's at-bat, captioned with one word: "Yep."
Then again, at Lone Star Baseball's "Brendan Ryan didn't swing" page, where the swing is shown in action, the answer is Nope. That page's creator says when he reviewed the vids of Ryan checking his swing on the game's final, 3-2 pitch from Humber - which could have been a ball, and a walk - he concluded "it looks to me like he didn't swing," drawing 150 comments.
Likewise, Jeff Sullivan, an SBNation blogger, writes "This game is going down in history, and I still have no idea if Philip Humber's perfect game was a perfect game. I mean, it's going in the books as a perfect game, but for all I know, the final strikeout was actually a walk. It sure looked to me like a walk." (SouthSideSox also has a good breakdown of the pitch, and video panels of the swing).
Ryan himself hasn't said much about the controversial call - something Yahoo! Sports called "a classy move." But the pitch has already earned him a new line in his Wikipedia bio: "On April 21, 2012, Ryan was the final out in Philip Humber's perfect game." (Though it should be noted that line's just below another that points out, "On July 26, 2011, Ryan broke up C.C. Sabathia's bid for a perfect game with a base hit with one out in the seventh inning.")
There is a consolation prize for Ryan, however. That came Monday on the Letterman show with Humber doing the "Top Ten Thoughts That Went Through Philip Humber's Mind During His Perfect Game Against the Mariners." It may go down as the unfunniest Top Ten ever. Enjoy, Brendan: