I Cain’t believe what just happened, but at the same time, I knew it could happen all along.
I’m sitting here typing on my laptop nearly 15 hours after Matt Cain pitched the first perfect game in Giants franchise history. It has taken me 15 long hours to compile and organize my thoughts on what exactly happened last night.
I watched every pitch Cain threw and until about the fifth inning, all I could think about is how well the Giants are hitting the ball, not how well one particular Giant was throwing it. Can you blame me? Cain always seems to make every start the same as the last: not walking batters, allowing few hits and a run or two if the other team is lucky.
Early in Cain’s career, he was overshadowed by the kid with two Cy Youngs and a funky windup while pitching just as well. Sure, he never won games because the Giants offense was putrid, but he was there making starts, staying healthy and mowing lineups down.
I recently wrote about how Cain is going to be seeing an unusual amount of wins this season. So far he has eight in his first 13 starts.
Anyway, back to the game.
When I looked at my phone, checking the box score as I watch the game unfold, I constantly took glances at Cain’s line. Five innings pitched, no hits, no walks, no runs and nine strikeouts. I tore myself away from caring about Brandon Belt‘s at bats, or how well Pablo Sandoval was swinging the bat. I was focused on Cain and his five perfect innings.
From then on, I felt a strange feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t stress, anxiety or nervousness; not at all. I have seen Cain throw five perfect innings before. I’ve seen him get screwed everytime, so I was always skeptical a hit would eventually be allowed.
Not this time.
There was electricity in the crowd, you could hear it in the broadcasters voices. I have witnessed special moments at AT&T Park before, and this fit the mold early on.
Then a ball was hit high and deep to left by Houston’s Chris Snyder. My heart stopped for what seemed like an eternity. Melky Cabrera – who also had a great offensive game last night – made the catch up against the wall.
Aaaaaand exhale. Whew!
I thought at that moment, this thing could actually happen: a perfect game.
After the end of the sixth inning, bochy moved Joaquin Arias from shortstop to thirdbase, relieving Pablo Sandoval, and here came Brandon Crawford into the game at shortstop. Crawford leads the team in errors. This scared me.
I wasn’t scared very long, as the first batter goes into a rare 3-2 count against Cain. All I was thinking was, “please don’t walk him.”
Another ball hit high and deep, this time to triples alley. You know they call it triples alley for a reason, and my heart was in my throat the second Jordan Schafer hit that ball so well. Gregor Blanco made the diving catch of his life on the warning track just in front of the 421′ mark.
(Side note: So this Blanco guys really seems to know what he is doing. Way to go Brian Sabean, you tricky man, you)
That was the moment I knew this night would be one I would never forget. This team was working damn hard to make Cain the first Giant pitcher to ever throw a perfecto.
The eighth inning was a breeze for Cain; a strikeout and a couple groundouts.
When the ninth inning began, I was thinking the same thought I was thinking in the clinching game of the 2010 World Series: “three. more. outs.”
This game was more memorizing than Jonathan Sanchez‘s no-hitter a few years ago because of the pitcher throwing it. If Lincecum was throwing a perfect game, I would still find this one to be more special.
Matt Cain, in my eyes, is the epitome of the perfect pitcher. He throws hard, is scary accurate and he deserves more attention that he receives (outside of the Bay Area). He never complains about his teams poor offense, he just signed a long contract with the Giants, showing he wants to be here. That means a lot for us fans.
This game will go down as a special one. The world now knows how good Matt Cain is, and that’s all we ever wanted.