Throwing a perfect game is the greatest achievement a starting pitcher can ever accomplish, have the Cardinals done it?
In the very long history of baseball, a perfect game is one of the rarest feats, as there have only been 23 total perfect games. The first one on record was thrown by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worcesters back in 1880, and the last one was thrown by Felix Hernandez for the Mariners in 2012.
Unfortunately, in the Cardinals 141-year history they have never thrown a perfect game. They are one of 7 current teams to not throw a perfect game and not have a perfect game thrown against them. The Cardinals have been close to one on a couple of occasions, most recently when Shelby Miller retired 27 consecutive Rockie batters after giving up a single to the first batter of the game back in 2013. And going way back in time to 1907, the Cardinals threw an unofficial perfect game. A pitcher named Ed Karger retired 21 straight hitters against the Boston Doves on the 2nd game of a doubleheader, but it was agreed by both teams before the game that they would only play seven innings.
It was determined by the Committee for Statistical Accuracy in 1991 that the new definition of a no-hitter would be to not give up a hit in 9 innings pitched or more. This new term took away no-hitters and perfect games from guys that didn't give up a hit in a game that did not go 9 full innings or had a no-hitter/perfect game through 9 but evidently gave up a hit in extra innings. Charlie Sweeney and Henry Boyle threw an unofficial combined no-hitter in 1884 for the St.Louis Maroons but the game was called for rain, and the same went for Johnny Lush in 1906. Stoney McGlynn threw a no-hitter in 1906 but the game was called for darkness. Throwing a perfect game is hard enough as it is, but having one be official is now even harder, that's why we have only seen it 23 times.
The Cardinals have thrown no-hitters in their history, the most recent one was back in 2001 with Bud Smith no-hit the Padres in San Diego. The no-hitter put then-manager Tony La Russa and then-pitching coach Dave Duncan in a predicament, they were both in a way hoping that Smith would give up a hit so they could take him out of the game due to his high pitch count. Smith's MLB success ran out quickly after his no-hitter, he would only win 3 more games in the MLB, and 9 and a half months after his no-hitter he was traded to the Phillies in the Scott Rolen deal and never pitched in the big leagues again.
The Cardinals currently have 10 no-hitters in their franchise history from 9 different pitchers, 2 of those no-hitters belong to Cardinal Hall of Famer Bob Forsch. The first Cardinal no hitter on record came from St.Louis no-hitter Ted Breitenstein in 1891 in his first career start. But it has been over 2 decades since we've witnessed a Cardinal no-hitter/perfect game, only the Braves, Guardians, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, and Blue Jays have a longer drought without one.
Do you think anyone on the Cardinal roster could do it? Miles Mikolas was one strike away from a no-hitter last season against Pittsburgh and Jack Flaherty has taken one into the 7th inning or later twice in his career. And do we think a Cardinal pitcher will ever throw a perfect game? It's crazy to think that it hasn't happened yet with all the great pitchers St.Louis has had in their history, but it just shows how difficult throwing a perfect game is and how everything needs to go perfect, to be perfect.