I often think it’s kind of hard to describe Matt Cain to non-Giant fans. He’s really good, of course, and he’s a player that I think most — “most” being the general fan — know how good he is, but there’s something lost in translation when I talk about Matt Cain to other baseball fans. I’m not sure what it is, but it just isn’t there. Maybe I lack the skill in communicating it, but I can never seem to fully get it across.
I think it comes down to this: he’s our guy. He’s always been our guy. We’ve watched Cain since he broke into the big leagues in 2005 at the tender age of 20-years-old. We’ve watched him grow and develop. We’ve watched him arrive to the majors as a flame-thrower, only to develop into a pitcher with pinpoint control that can spot all of his pitches wherever, and whenever, he wants. We’ve watched Matt Cain lose low scoring game after low scoring game, often no fault of his own. We all know the statistic about Matt Cain’s career win-loss percentage. It’s a particularly infuriating statistic. We’ve often heard that Cain isn’t as good as his ERA would indicate. That his FIP scores hint at a pitcher that’s kind of good, but nothing to write home about.
We’ve heard all of those things, and yet, start after start, Matt Cain has always been a joy to watch. In the truest sense of the word, he’s become a pitcher. And a damned good one, too. And he’s our guy. He’s still our guy. And he’ll always be our guy.
So, to see Cain throw the franchise’s first perfect game in Giants history is the ultimate treat. The perfect reward for fans that have watched Cain mature, watched him develop. But man, this game was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I still can’t wrap my head around it. But it totally makes sense that Cain was the one to do it. Just total, complete sense.
Some brief jabbering thoughts:
* Cain’s final, historic, pitching line reads as follows: 9 IP, 27 BF, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 14 SO
* Cain becomes just the 22nd pitcher in the history of baseball to achieve the feat of “perfect game.”
* Cain set a personal best for strikeouts with 14 in tonight’s game — previous career high was 12.
* This catch by Gregor Blanco in the 7th inning was truly amazing:
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
This game brought back emotions that I hadn’t felt since the 2010 World Series. It was that good. It was the most heartwarming thing, ever.
We’ll probably look more into the nuts-and-bolts about Cain’s perfect game sometime this week, but for now, it’s all about the heart, man. And boy, does it feel good. We’ll deal with the head later.
Thanks, Matt. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again.