Matt Cain makes San Francisco Giants history by becoming 22nd pitcher to record a perfect game in MLB history
In 130 years of its history the San Francisco Giants have seen it all, or at least they have now after pitcher Matt Cain recorded the franchises first perfect game in its illustrious existence. Cain becomes only the 22nd pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to throw a perfect game, joining an elite club of the game's greats and fortunate.
For those who are unaware of the significance of a perfect game or purely clueless to the existence of the feat - a perfect game occurs over a full nine innings of a baseball match where no hitters of the opposite side reach a base over the course of the match. This means that the pitcher does not concede any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or allows any opposing player to reach base safely for any other reason. Knowing that Cain threw 125 pitches throughout the match give you an idea of just how special his achievement is in the sport.
On his way to perfection, Cain struck out 14 batters which brings him level with Sandy Koufax (1965) for the most strikeouts in a perfect game since 1900. Cain's Game Score was also 101, a stat that ESPN has as, "the highest of any pitcher since Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game in 1998 (105). In terms of perfect games, Cain ties Sandy Koufax for the highest ever."
With an average speed of pitch at 91.6 mph Cain used the fastball to most effect by striking out 11 of his 14 victims with the ball whilst accounting for two Houston Astros batters with a changeup and the single hitter with a curveball. All these stats make for impressive reading but Cain owes a great deal of his acclaim to the work of Right Fielder Gregor Blanco who kept Cain's perfect game alive with a stunning catch in the top of the seventh inning. Astros centre Gregor Fielding despatched Cain's pitch towards right-centre field and looked to have found a gap and done what no other Astros batter could manage only for Blanco to dive full stretch across the turf in spectacular fashion.
A fan video of Cain's final pitches and celebrations can be found here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5VaA3I9lng.