And we all thought this was just another Wednesday night game against the Houston Astros.
Matt Cain pitched a perfect game.
And this is perhaps the most difficult kind of post to write, because now I expect perfection from myself. Good luck with that.
I’ve been lucky enough to watch a bunch of games from the press box this season, and Wednesday night was the second time in 2012 that I’ve attended a game in my normal AT&T Park clothes: Giants shirt, Giants hat, black and orange Air Max 95s. (What, you thought I wasn’t a homer?) But even before he threw the best game any of us will probably ever see again from a Giants pitcher, the running theme throughout this entire season — from the surprise contract extension just before the season started up until Wednesday night — has been: Matt Cain.
There’s a certain no-hitter template I think every fan knows, but it’s impossible to follow unless you’re kind of oblivious — it’s supposed to sneak up on you, hit you with a wave of “wait, do I have the power to jinx this” thought patterns, then sweep you off your feet. Maybe jinxes don’t exist (and Cain’s perfect game proved that once and for all, at least for me and the 40,000 who attended the game), but I still believe that if you’re transfixed on the scoreboard and staring at those zeroes too early, you’ll spook the thing.
With all the hits and homers and runs and everything else, I was blissfully unaware that Cain was working on a no-hitter. That’s what happens when you’re sitting in Section 103, Row 5, Seats 5-8* with your wife and two friends (and some food and beverages that will go unmentioned). You watch the game, cheer when Melky Cabrera and Brandon Belt hit home runs, and marvel at the blowout.
Then I glanced at the scoreboard in the 6th inning and realized Cain wasn’t just racking up strikeouts … he was marching toward history.
What was it like to watch Cain’s perfect game in the stands? First, it’s humbling to know we just saw something only 19 other crowds have witnessed since 1900. Second, AT&T Park felt like 2010 again — strangers were high-fiving each other and, for the first time in over a year, the crowd rose to the occasion and became part of the action again.
It was only an inning after I realized what we were watching when Gregor Blanco made the dive that, around here, will be remembered along with catches from Willie Mays and Dwight Clark. Once Blanco came down with the ball and Cain raised his arms like Joe Montana after a touchdown, picturing history in front of our eyes became extraordinarily easy.
After watching Cain’s one-hitter on the home opener, followed by his battle with Cliff Lee, I figured it might only be a matter of time before Cain finally broke throw and hurled his first no-no. But then again, who was to say Cain would ever do it? After all, around these parts “Getting Cained” is the expression for pitching brilliantly and having nothing to show for it.
Cain has so much to show for his career already — and the financial part isn’t even what I’m getting at. Without Cain, the Giants don’t start a run of fantastic, homegrown pitchers. Without Cain, the Giants don’t win their first World Series in San Francisco. Without Cain, the Giants don’t have a perfect game.
I wrote about Cain’s Cy Young resume after his last start, and it felt a little premature. Not anymore.
* That’s where I stood while filming the video at the top with my cellphone.
glad you were here. I was thinking to myself, damn, Steve's been to nearly every home game but this one?
Wow, what a game this was for Cain last night! I won't forget this game as well. It was also cool because it was my nephew's birthday yesterday, and me and my family watched this game together as we were celebrating my nephew's birthday. It was fun! I'm happy that I was able to watch this memorable event with my family! It's good that we didn't miss this game. I agree with people who have said that Cain deserved it! After everything that he has been through with not getting good run support and being a good soldier through all that, when he probably could've pouted and went elsewhere. I'm still happy for Cain!.... But yes, what a game and what a night! Congratulations Matt Cain!
I SO wish I was there.. and I couldn't help but think that I was glad that Nana got to see her favorite player pitch a perfect game. Go Giants!
It did by the 7th have a strange perfectness to it...the ump called anything borderline for a strike..that's when I thought this might a no hitter...then when they said perfect game,I knew I wasn't going to sleep. One complaint..KNBR as usual has to over do it. The "Where were you" when he pitched the perfect game, is really not a good question when it always been used when somebody important has died. And besides, what other answer then" I was there" or" I was watching on TV?!"
Cain seems like a really cool dude, Real happy for the guy... CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have to admit I was shocked he was the first Giant to do so.
I had the privilege of being at last night's game as well and I will never for get the emotions that the game created. I first noticed the zeros in the fifth. It was one of those moments where you stop and think, "Has he walked anybody? I can't remember any walks." The moment that hit me the game went from having a blast watching the guys hit, to having a blast watching Cain throw. The inning where he hit and got on base, my buddy and I were sitting there worried about him getting cold on the bases. And then lo and behold...Gregor gets him right back into the dugout with a two run homer! All events in the night seemed to fit perfectly (sorry for the expression) into place. I can't even really write well about this because I have no idea where to start. There was way too much going on.
It's not often I'm at a loss for words, but right now, all I can think of is superlatives: Tremendous, awesome, historic. So freaking cool.
I like the 2010 comparison. Even though there were more veterans on that team, I'm starting to see plenty of similarities between the 2010 Giants and this current group of Giants.
[...] Bay Area Sports Guy – A Perfect Game for Matt Cain: What was it like to watch Cain’s perfect game in the stands? First, it’s humbling to know we just saw something only 19 other crowds have witnessed since 1900. Second, AT&T Park felt like 2010 again — strangers were high-fiving each other and, for the first time in over a year, the crowd rose to the occasion and became part of the action again. [...]
I did it again...no sooner post that the ump was very kind to Cain,then I see this was his SECOND PERFECT GAME..he called THIS YEAR. also has a no -hitter on his resume. No coincidences in baseball.
In 2010, Lincecum caught on fire during August & September and led the Giants to the world series. Lincecum definitely has that ability to do that again. So no worries here.
It seems like this clubhouse has the same (sometimes elusive) "chemistry" as the world series team. E.g. you watch those 3 guys come in from the OF, and it's not hard to believe they're just out there playing ball and having a good time together. Plenty of other examples every time the camera pans over the dugout, post-game shenanigans, etc. Embrace it and enjoy it, because special things like this don't come around very often.