For those who thought that San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain was underrated, his perfect game performance on Wednesday night certainly put him on the map. It was not just a game for the record books, it may one day be a game that the record books call 'the best game ever pitched.'
But is that too much to say? Check out the facts and make your own decision.
Cain struck out 14 of the 27 batters he faced, tying Sandy Koufax (1965) for the most strikeouts in a perfect game since 1900.
Cain's Game Score (a statistic that rates pitchers' starts based on innings pitched, runs, hits, strikeouts and walks) of 101 was the highest of any pitcher since Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game in 1998, a game score of 105. But in terms of perfect games, Cain tied Koufax for the highest score ever; in terms of no-hitter's it also ties Nolan Ryan's 16-strikeout game back in 1991.
The average Game Score is around a 50.
It's the 14th no-hitter in Giants franchise history, now the 4th-most of any franchise in MLB history, and their sixth since moving to San Francisco. Jonathan Sanchez last tossed a no-no back in July of 2009.
Eleven of his 14 strikeouts came on fastballs, half of them came on looking Astros. Two came via the changeup and one from the curveball. He threw 19 first pitch strikes to the 27 batters he faced, and 86 of his 125 pitches on the night were for strikes as well.
Cain made sure to keep some in the tank as well, increasing his velocity as the game went on. Maxing out at 93 MPH over the first six innings, Cain threw two fastballs at 94 MPH over the course of the last three. None of his fastballs were less than 91 MPH in the ninth inning. His average velocity was 91.6 MPH, the fastest so far this season.
Cain used all four of his pitches with two strikes. Aside from the strikeouts, Cain made eight more outs in at-bats with where he worked a two strike count.
Let's also not forget the efforts of Buster Posey, who caught his first no-no on Wednesday, as well as Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera for crucial, heart-stopping catches on the warning track.
Below is Cain right after the game is over, describing his feelings over the last few innings of the game.
And here is Bruce Bochy's press conference after the game, where he admits to being one of the best games of his life:
Tip of the cap to you Mr. Cain.
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