Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wrote an excellent article Wednesday night about Matt Cain's perfect game. Cameron listed Cain's performance as tied for the second greatest in the history of baseball for a nine inning game.
Think about how amazing that is. There have been thousands upon thousands of attempts at perfection in the history of Major League Baseball, yet only Matt Cain and 21 other pitchers have ever achieved such greatness.
Cain's performance was greater than any other perfect game in the history of baseball, with the possible exception of Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965. Both Cain and Koufax struck out 14 hitters and had a game score of 101. Only Kerry Wood has had a higher game score than that, but he allowed one hit in his 20 strikeout performance in 1998.
This performance—nine innings, no hits, no walks, no baserunners, 14 strikeouts, six ground outs, seven fly outs, 101 game score—is what makes baseball so special to follow. It seemed like a typical Wednesday night game in the middle of another season, yet on any given day something historic can happen in a baseball game. On this early summer evening, history was made indeed.
Matt Cain made history tonight. He pitched the greatest game in franchise history, and arguably the greatest game in the history of baseball. No one expected that something this historic was in store tonight, but now every Giants fan, and every baseball fan who tuned in, will have an unforgettable memory to cherish.
The memory that I will hang onto from tonight was the way the team celebrated Cain's achievement. You can determine a lot by the way a team celebrates a no-hitter, a perfect game, or a walk-off win. The way the Giants celebrated tonight, the sheer joy they had for their best pitcher's accomplishment, led me to believe that this celebration will be the first of several for the Giants in 2012.