Matt Cain has put up with a lot in his career. His offense has struggled to support him, and he usually ends up with a loss in games that he should be winning.
Then, he won a World Series title.
And now, he has a perfect game.
Usually, the Giants offense doesn't give Cain much run support. However, when he needed it most, his offense was on fire. Melky Cabrera and Brandon Belt each homered and knocked in three runs, as the Giants knocked out Astros starter J.A Happ after 3.1 innings.
While San Francisco's offense was great, the main storyline was Cain. He was dominant throughout the game, hitting his spots and throwing the ball where he wanted. His nasty slider got a lot of Astros watching strike three, as seven Astros struck out looking.
Oh, and another seven went down swinging.
Every Astro struck out at least once except for Chris Johnson. Two of them struck out three times, and one struck out twice. While Cain was blazing through the lineup, he never seemed fazed by the high stakes.
In the 7th inning, Jordan Schafer hit a deep fly ball to right field, and it looked like the perfect game was over. Miraculously, Gregor Blanco dove and caught the ball, preserving the perfect game that no one deserves more than Cain.
Cain has always pitched best when the lights shined brightest, as he went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three postseason starts. He has taken perfect games and no-hitters late into games before, but he was able to finish this time.
The Giants ace threw a high slider to get Jason Castro to ground out to third to end the game. Joaquin Arias fielded the ball and lurched backwards with the impact, but threw to first in time to finalize Cain's perfect game.
Then, AT&T Park went crazy.
The guy who has been plagued by poor run support got more than enough today. His pitches had incredible movement, and as we learned, they were unhittable.
Cain may have a World Series ring, but he was never respected enough by baseball fans. Now, with a World Series ring, an 8-2 record, a 2.18 ERA, and a perfect game, he'll always be respected for what he did tonight.
And it's long overdue.