Gamer earns $1 million by throwing a perfect game against the Astros with Roy Halladay

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2K Sports offered $1 million to the first person to throw a perfect game on their baseball video game MLB 2K11 and a music teacher from Louisina named Brian Kingrey has claimed the prize.

Kingrey smartly chose Phillies ace and cover boy Roy Halladay as his pitcher and picked the Astros as his weak-hitting opponent, setting Houston down in order after studying the game and working on his strategy for hours at a time.

Kingrey shared his process with Chris Morris of Yahoo! Games:

I’m not really into sports games, but I am into competitive games, so when I heard about this competition, I couldn’t leave it alone. Two weeks before the competition started, my wife forced me to go get the game. She was like “I don’t know why you’re not doing this.”

Roy Halladay has the most control on his pitch in the game. And he has this really mean slider that’s amazing against right-handers. The Astros only have two lefties in their lineup. I’d throw it low and to the right and then they would swing and miss.

Not only does Kingrey have a wife who “forced” him to spend more time playing video games, he has more awareness of the importance of platoon splits than a few big-league managers. And the most amazing thing? Morris writes that Kingrey “threw a perfect game within two hours after just three tries.”

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.