San Francisco Giants’ Matt Cain pitches franchise’s first perfect game
- Updated: June 14, 2012
This article was written by Ian Palmer & use of this article was provided by Feed Crossing.
Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants became the first pitcher in the club’s 129-year history to throw a perfect game when he beat the Houston Astros 10-0 at home on June 13. Cain goes into Major League Baseball’s history books as the 22nd pitcher to achieve the feat. Cain said it was an unbelievable feeling when the game ended and it’s an honor to become a part of baseball history in San Francisco.
Cain managed to strike out 14 batters along the way as he retired all 27 Astros that came to the plate. The 14 strikeouts also ties the record for the most thrown in a perfect game. The last man to bat was Jason Castro, but the 27-year-old pitcher got him to ground out to third and was then mobbed by his teammates as fans went wild in the stands.
It was the second perfect game pitched in the Majors this season and the fifth no-hitter. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox also threw a perfect game against Seattle back on April 21. Cain, a right hander, saw his season record improve to 8-2 after throwing the 125-pitch game. He was helped out on several occasions by some excellent fielding, including right fielder Gregor Blanco’s superb diving catch in the seventh inning.
Cain said he thought Angel Pagan, who was playing center field, might have a chance to make the catch, but Blanco came out of nowhere with a spectacular diving play and the crowd of 42,300 went nuts. Blanco said it was the best catch he’s ever made and was glad it came when it did. Left fielder Melky Cabrera also made a great catch an inning earlier when he chased down a fly ball at the wall and made a leaping catch.
The perfect game was the 14th no-hitter in Giants’ history and it’s the second time in the past three seasons that two perfect games have been pitched in the same campaign. The first time it happened was back in 1880. Also, it’s the first time since 1917 that five no-hitters have been pitched by the middle of June. It was the fifth time in Astros’ history that they have been no-hit and the second time the Giants have done it against them.
The 125 pitches Cain threw were the most ever in a perfect game. Eighty-six of his pitches were strikes and just four batters went to the full count. His fastball was still reaching a speed of 90 mph during the ninth inning. Cain, who is a two-time All-Star, signed a new six-year deal with San Francisco early in April which is reportedly worth $127.5 million.
Ted Barrett umpired the game and it was the second time he’s been behind the plate for a perfect game. He also umpired David Cone’s perfect game against the Montreal Expos at Yankee Stadium in 1999. Barrett said Cain was simply outstanding and was able to place the ball exactly where he wanted to. Cain one-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Giants’ home opener this season and also two-hit the Philadelphia Phillies over nine innings in a Giants 1-0, 11-inning win a few games later.