Any time a pitcher returns to the mound after a no-hitter or perfect game, the name Johnny Vander Meer is evoked. In 1938, Vander Meer followed up one no-hitter with another in his next start for the Cincinnati Reds.

Of course, despite the predictable anticipation, no one has matched Vander Meer’s feat in the major leagues.

But Roki Sasaki very nearly did it in Japan, following a perfect game — the rare feat of retiring all 27 batters in a game without allowing a base runner — with eight more perfect innings this week before being pulled.