Perfection. It is on the tip of everyone’s tongues today. Perfection. Whether you like baseball or not, you have to admit that the series of events that took place in a clear, cool, San Francisco night yesterday evening is no short of a miracle. Whether you care for the Giants, Mariners, Yankees, or some other Major League team, you can not deny that Giants right hander, Matt Cain, pulled off a feat that not many can claim, nor baseball teams can promote. Perfection.
I was lucky enough to bear witness to a very historical event last evening and though I am aware that this article may not be everyone’s “cup of tea” due to the team that met this great feat, I will be writing it from the stand point of a fan who got to see a perfect game thrown by a great baseball player, as unbiased as a Giants fan can be.
It wasn’t until Gregor Blanco’s amazing layout catch in the seventh inning that I thought to myself, this could happen. Astros centerfielder Justin Schafer had knocked a rocket out into right center field, causing the Giants outfield to hurry back. With Cain’s no-hitter fading out of existence, Blanco made an extraordinary diving catch. It was as if the team wanted this as bad as he did.
Yes the Giants had three home runs, yes Cain broke his career high of strikeouts, yes the Astro are not a phenomenal team, but is this game any less deserving of a historical nod if it had been against a powerhouse like LA or Texas? I think not.
Roy Halladay of the Phillies was the last pitcher to throw a perfect game. On May 29th 2010, the 33-year-old systematically took out the Florida Marlins (now known and the Miami Marlins) with only one run to buffer his win. Cain had 10. Halladay only threw 115 pitches, while Cain threw 125. Halladay struck out 11, Cain 14, his career high of 12 was broken. His performance last night has been matched as with Sandy Koufax’ game in 1965 for most strike outs in a perfect game, the second highest in baseball history for a pitcher in nine innings.
Melky Cabarra and Gragor Blanco win the outfielding awards for the game last night. Covering ground swiftly as if every hit, whether foul or fair, was the determining factor in taking Cain’s glory away.
Just last week, our very own Mariners took down the powerhouse that is known as the LA Dodgers in their second game by allowing no hits. Six pitchers combined to stop the red-hot National League dead in their tracks for at least one game in the series. So is it true, this is the pitchers decade?
Clayton Kreshaw (Dodgers), Justin Verlander (Tigers), Matt Cain (Giants), Roy Halladay (Phillies) to name a few are driving forces on their respective teams. You can find more talk about them these days rather than Ichiro’s base stealing abilities or Albert Pujols’ 3 homer game that helped take the World Series away from the Texas Rangers for a second year in a row. The pitchers have become the new “sluggers” in their respective positions, much like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGuire were in their time.
In 130 years of being a major league team, no one on the Giants has pitched, not just a no-hitter, but a perfect game. Cain couldn’t do this alone. The defense had his back all night making sure that this game would be Cain’s best as well as the most historical of his career.
Here is my video from our seats of the final out and the response of the crowd. Enjoy it through our eyes.