For the first time in the franchise's 130 seasons, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain accomplished something done by no other player. With 27 batters up and 27 batters down and zero runners reaching base, Cain became the first player in Giants franchise history and only the 22nd pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game.
In order to accomplish this ultra rare feat, Cain needed 125 pitches to strikeout a career-high 14 batters and keep all opposing batters from recording a hit. Cain's perfect performance also marked the first no-hitter of his career.
It is no surprise that Cain was able to dominate an injured and struggling Houston Astros lineup. Recording a win in each of his last six starts, Cain has been one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball and has struck out opposing batters at a high rate. With batters struggling to get good contact on his pitches, Cain entered his favorable home matchup with a chance to earn his seventh straight victory.
As I intently watched the game, I watched every pitch with bated breath, hoping that Cain would continue to record outs and mow through the Astros lineup. Despite a rising pitch count, I had little concerns about what it would take for him to possibly have a complete game because of his workhorse mentality and ability to pitch well even after reaching a triple-digit pitch count.
Like most perfect games, Cain could not have accomplished this feat without the help of the defense behind him. In the sixth inning, Melky Cabrera chased down a tough flyball in left field with a leaping catch near the warning track. In the beginning of the seventh inning, Gregor Blanco robbed Jordan Schafer of a hit at the warning track with a sensational diving catch in right field. Lastly, Joaquin Arias completed two tough throws at third base in the eighth and ninth innings, including the final out of the game, despite moving from shortstop to third base in the top of the seventh innings.
With the Giants riding this momentous high, they will hopefully use this adrenaline boost to focus on sweeping the Astros and continue their rise up the National League West standings.
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Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Francisco Giants
- Matt Cain
- Houston Astros