Matt Cain: Perfect Game!
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Giants!
Great analysis by Jonah Keri of Grantland:
If you're going to watch a perfect game by a Giants pitcher, doing it at the one Bay Area–themed bar in Brooklyn is a wise choice.
And if you're going to throw a perfect game, striking out 14 batters and propelling yourself into discussion for the best-pitched game in the history of baseball is a great way to do it.
There are a million factors that go into rating the quality of a pitching performance like Matt Cain's 10-0 perfecto win Wednesday night.
You could ding Cain for facing a weak Astros lineup. You could raise an eyebrow at some of home plate umpire Ted Barrett's generous ball-strike calls (Barrett was also behind the plate for David Cone's perfect game against the Expos in 1999).
You could note that it never happens if not for Gregor Blanco's unbelievable catch (watch the whole clip; the Spanish-language call is phenomenal). And if you wanted to be really cynical, you could squawk about this being the third no-hitter in 13 days (first time a streak like that's happened in 95 years) and the fifth perfect game since July 2009, meaning nearly one-quarter of all perfectos ever thrown have happened in the past three years...
I believe that 14 strikeouts in a perfect game is a record.
Grantland's article has a way to compare all 22 perfect games in baseball history.
Matty Cain has talked openly of his dream to pitch a perfect game.
He is the longest-tenured person on the Giants team, having played 8 seasons with us.
And he's the first person in the Giants' century-old history to pitch a perfect game.
And MG Siegler summarizes it best:
How dominant was Matt Cain’s perfect game? This dominant:
"Matt Cain had a game score of 101… that is tied for the 2nd-highest in any 9-inning game in the live-ball era. The highest is 105 by Kerry Wood in his 20-strikeout game in 1998."
Game score is a metric that Bill James (he of sabermetrics fame) came up with to determine how dominant a pitcher was in any given outing. The basic idea:
"The highest possible game score in a nine-inning game while allowing no baserunners is 114, possible only if a pitcher goes 9 innings while striking out every batter he faces and facing three batters per inning."
Again, no one in modern baseball has come closer to that number than Kerry Wood’s 20K game (and that wasn’t a no-hitter, it was a 1-hitter). Cain’s game last night tied him with Nolan Ryan’s 7th (and final) no-hitter in 1991 and a perfect game Sandy Koufax threw in 1965. Complete and utter dominance.
Matty Cain, you're nothing short of perfect.