Originally posted on CBS Sacramento:
By Michelle Dingley
It was an entirely different type of torture. The tension had been building for hours. Giants fans everywhere held their breath as the last pitch was thrown. Once the last out was recorded, the team converged on the pitcher’s mound, jumping and screaming. The lucky ones in the stands, as well as those watching at home, let out euphoric cries, leaping into each other’s arms in celebration of the historic victory. It was a night Giants fans will remember their entire lives. It felt almost like November 1, 2010 again. On this night we didn’t win the World Series, but June 13, 2012 will live forever in the Giants pantheon. Matt Cain threw a perfect game, the first in the storied franchise’s 129-year history.
Matt Cain has always been sturdy, reliable, and consistent – and that’s on his bad days. On his good days, he is spectacular, electric, a surgeon with his pitches. Even without the perfect game, this season to date has to be the best three months of his career. If the Cy Young voting was today, he’d win hands-down. On April 13, he one-hit the Pirates, striking out 11. The only thing keeping him from perfection was a single by the pitcher James McDonald. At that point, it seemed a forgone conclusion that he would pitch a no-hitter sooner rather than later. His very next start, April 18, was a beautiful pitching duel between Cain and Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee. Matt pitched nine innings of shut-out ball, giving up just 2 hits and a walk. (The game went to extras, and Hensley was credited with the win after Melky Cabrera’s walk-off single in the 11th.) Matt has given up 3 or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 14 starts this season, 4 times not allowing an earned run. Cain’s stats this season are spectacular, with his opponents’ batting average at .199, ERA at 2.34, and a staggering 0.91 WHIP, the second best in the league.