Matt Cain delivers first Giants perfect game
The 27-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high 14 and pitched the 22nd perfect game in major league history — the first in the long, storied history of the Giants.
The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in major league history and first for the Giants, striking out a career-high 14 and getting help from two spectacular catches to beat the Houston Astros 10-0 on Wednesday night.
Cain's 125-pitch masterpiece for San Francisco featured a pair of great plays by his corner outfielders, and he got pinch-hitter Jason Castro on a grounder to third for his 27th and final out with the sellout crowd of 42,298 roaring.
It was the fifth no-hitter in the majors already this year and second perfect game.
At a ballpark where Barry Bonds made home-run history, Cain produced the signature moment for pitchers.
Left fielder Melky Cabrera chased down Chris Snyder's one-out fly ball in the sixth, scurrying back to make a leaping catch at the wall. Cain raised both arms and slapped his glove in delight at the catch.
In the seventh, right fielder Gregor Blanco ran into deep right-center to make a diving catch on the warning track and rob Jordan Schafer for the first out of the inning. The 27-year-old pitcher hugged Blanco in the dugout after the inning.
"Those were unbelievable catches," Cain said. "I mean that right there, that changes the whole thing."
Phillip Humber of the Chicago White Sox tossed the majors' last perfecto against the Mariners at Safeco Field on April 21. This is the second time in three years there have been two perfect games in the same season — before that, the only other time it happened was in 1880.
Cain (8-2), who won't pitch in Seattle when the Giants meet the Mariners in a weekend series that starts Friday, accomplished a feat even Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal couldn't with the storied Giants franchise.
It was the third no-hitter already in June. Johan Santana tossed the New York Mets' first no-hitter on June 1 and six Seattle pitchers shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers last Friday. Jered Weaver had one for the Los Angeles Angels on May 2.
Ted Barrett became the first umpire to work behind the plate for two perfect games. He also worked David Cone's 1999 gem.
Cain's 125 pitches were the most ever thrown in a perfect game. He threw 86 for strikes, faced only four full counts and still clocked 90 mph in the ninth.
The Astros were no-hit by the Giants for the second time. Marichal did it on June 15, 1963.
Catcher Buster Posey rushed the mound as Cain raised his arm. His teammates jumped the dugout rail as the final out was made, a moment reminiscent of that improbable World Series championship in 2010 at Texas.
"I can't thank Buster enough," Cain said. "I didn't even question once what he was calling."
Cain had come close already this season — not once, but twice. In the team's home opener on April 13, he one-hit the Pirates in a 5-0 win. In his next start, on April 18, he allowed only two hits over nine innings in the Giants' 11-inning, 1-0 win over Cliff Lee and the Phillies.