Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We've all known that one day Matt Cain was going to throw a no-hitter. We've all seen him flirt with that over the seven-plus seasons he's been a Giant. It was only a matter of time before everything fell into place and he put his name in the record books. Tonight Matt Cain threw the first and only perfect game in the history of the New York-San Francisco Giants, and as wonderful and exciting as that moment was, it was no surprise to us. We know this guy is a great pitcher and he's gradually convincing the rest of the baseball world that he belongs in the discussion of "best in the game."

Number break: Matt Cain's Game Score (101) was tied for the second-best of all time, and matched Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts (14) in a perfect game. Sandy Fecking Koufax, lads. I mean, I know he's Dodger scum and all, but he was one of the greatest pitchers ever, and a personal fave of our man of the hour. So take a moment and appreciate the glory. It's the 22nd perfecto overall in the big scheme of things (9th in the NL), and what will be always and forever about it is what I said before. It's the first by a Giant. Christy Mathewson? Carl Hubbell? Hell, those dudes are f---. Juan Marichal? Gaylord Perry? Whatever, some of us are old enough to remember them. Matt Cain. Number 18. That's the man. That's the number. (Did I forget the 125 pitches, the most ever in a perfect game?)

I think it was Duane on the CSN-BA telecast, right at the end of the game, that reminded us that this spring started with a lot of speculation about where Cain would wind up when he became a free agent. Yankees? Red Sox? Dodgers? It was unpleasant, to say the least. Then they signed the big deal to make him the new face of the franchise--he'll be a Giant through 2017--and everything was OK. And how did Matt respond? By throwing a one-hit shutout on Opening Day. And following that up with tonight's magnificent performance, one for the ages. This is one cool cat. He's 27 and he's The Old Man. The vet. The grizzled champ. The leader. Greg Papa called Tim Lincecum "the rock star," and that's apt. Cain's the horse, they all like to say, and that works, too. He's the motor. He's a big diesel that hums along for half a million miles and never skips a beat or fails to pull a load. You'll have to forgive the redneck metaphor, I'm deep in a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey (George Dickel No. 12), appropriate stuff to drink when the Tennessee Stud takes the hill. He's the rhythm section of the band. The re-bar in the concrete. The tough outer casing on those pepperoni sticks that keeps them from going bad.

Matt Cain. Matt Cain! Matt Cain. When I run out of things to say, I just say his name. Matt Cain. It could not have happened to a better Giant. He deserves the accolades. He deserves ten runs of support. He deserves your support. But you knew that already.

Matt Cain.


p.s. Great play by Gregor Blanco. The narrative of every no-hitter or perfect game has to have a great play or two. Nice work from Arias, too. The ball Melky caught at the wall I was sure was a homer. A friendly gust off the  bay or just another magic pitch from Matt Cain? No one induces the harmless fly ball out better than M.C. And that's a saber-metrical fact, yo.



Relio Estondado said...

That was a blast! I've read your blog for the last couple years, so I wanted to send cheers. What an amazing game from one of the greats.

Go Giants!

Zo said...

Tim's the rock star? Matt is the drummer, the guy who provides the beat, the backbone of the band. Without him, there would be no band, or at least no World Series rings. What a performance. A perfect game, or any no-hitter for that matter, is sort of a statistical oddity. Some great pitchers have never thown no hitters, some with pretty forgettable careers have. Matt Cain will not have a forgettable career. A wise man once wrote on this blog: Tim = no hitter, Matt = Hall of Fame. Well, I guess Hall of Fame does not preclude a no hitter. I hope all those people who said, "trade Matt Cain while his value is high" are feeling approriately foolish - his value only went up. All Star start? Should be a lock.
Bob and JP - sorry your sister couldn't see this, I'm sure she was a big fan.

Shankbone said...

Well now, you merry few at RMC, your babies all growns up now, as if you didn't already know that.

All 27 outs:

Tennessee Stud. So happy the Giants did the right thing and extended him.

Brother Bob said...

You must change the name. Matt Cain cannot be Raised any higher.
So, Cain is a the drummer (MadBum is clearly the bass player) or alternately he's the tough outer casing on a pepperoni stick. Some say he's a horse.
I could have been present at that game. I was in the City with Maggie for the matinee of "American Idiot." Great show. Green Day, y'know. At one point I thought,"Hey maybe we could also go to the game after."
But I didn't and I'm glad I ended up watching it with my bro et al.
What can be said? Did anyone else have the feeling that he was PROBABLY going to do it? I didn't see the first couple of innings, but all the euphoria was directected at our early offense. Sure Cain had set down all nine Astros in order, but that's not unusual. But he was striking guys out more than usual. Then more runs and basically I stopped watching the game for a while. Now that I think about it, I wasn't watching when any of the homers were hit.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I kept thinking that the long waits between innings (due to the Giants clogging up the basepaths) would give Matty some trouble. I mean he's used to sitting down and then getting right back up again! Nothing like a little run support, eh?

Anonymous said...

I still have a hard time believing that it happened.

Just wow.

I definitely need to get as soon as possible.

Go Giants!

nomisnala said...

I watched the entire game on the east coast on a nice large screen high definition TV. My wife had to get up early for work the next morning so she went to bed after the third inning. I told her if she did not mind, I was going to watch the game, Matt had not given up a runner yet, and I told her this is the best stuff I have seen him have all year including his one hitter. All his pitches were working, and everytime he went to a 3-2 count, he made a perfect pitch. When Blanco made that catch, in real time, it seemed even more amazing than the replays have to offer. I'm sure Cain would like Krukow to be on assignment again during his next start. Great game. Even though the giants had pitched several no hitters, up until last night I thought the best game I had seen by a giants pitcher was Juan Marichal's 16 inning shutout.

Zo said...

Oh, my goodness:

Scottsdale Fan said...

He tossed a ball to my boy in the stands pre spring training.