I think it’s safe to say Matt Cain has reached another level.
Last night Matt Cain tossed the 22nd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first in franchise history for the Giants. He struck out 14 Houston Astros in the process.
Before the season began Cain, 27, signed an extension with the Giants that made him the highest paid right-handed pitcher in the game. Something some critics suggested was too much but a breakdown of the numbers showed it was the right move considering he’s been an above average pitcher his entire career.
His perfect game last night takes him to a level that, in my opinion, should make his name synonymous with any of the best in the game. What was most impressive about his was not only that he allowed zero hits, walks, or runs, but that he struck out 14 Astros batters and his stuff made you feel as though there was no chance from the get-go.
On the season Cain, who now stands at 8-2 with a 2.18 ERA on the season, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Giants recent success as he used to be the “Lucky Loser” of the staff. His record between 2006 and 2008 was 28-42, despite his 3.85 ERA, 528 K’s, and 116 ERA+. On any other team during that time frame Cain would have been given his due a lot sooner. But because of his record (and the presence of some other guy during those seasons) he was overlooked.
That shouldn’t happen any longer. His perfecto last night put him in the history books three times (he tied the perfect game record for strikeouts as well) and he is primed to post an ERA in the 2.00’s for the third time in the last four seasons.