Matt Cain has such good stuff that it seemed like it was only a matter of time until he put his first no-hitter under his belt. But the big righty did all our expectations one better on a memorable and cool Wednesday night at AT&T Park, throwing a perfect game against the Houston Astros in a 10-0 win. It was the second perfect game thrown this season, the 22nd in history and incredibly only the first in the 128-year history of the Giants franchise.
Any perfect game fits the definition of dominant, but Cain's effort will allow him to enter a rarefied air among perfect game pitchers. His 14 strikeouts on the night gave him a game score of 101 as well as a share of the record for most strikeouts in a perfect game. The pitcher he tied for that record? Just a Los Angeles Dodger by the name of Sandy Koufax, who struck out 14 Chicago Cubs in 1965.
As is usually the case, Cain wouldn't have made history were it not for some great defense. Melky Cabrera started the heroics with a warning track grab of a Chris Snyder blast in the sixth inning, Gregor Blanco turned in the defensive play of the year after running down Jordan Schaefer's gap-seeking drive in the seventh (below) and Joaquin Arias gobbled up Jason Castro's tricky grounder to third for the 27th and final out.
We're still a few weeks away from the All-Star break and we've already seen five no-hitters this season. Cain joins fellow perfect game pitcher Philip Humber as well as Jered Weaver, Johan Santana and the six Seattle Mariners pitchers who combined for a no-hitter last Friday. The record for most no-hitters in a season is seven, which was reached in both 1990 and 1991.
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