Perfection in Paradise
As a lifetime fan of baseball, I am thrilled that Matt Cain has risen above the best of the best, and thrown the first perfect game in Giants history. This is not just SF history, but all 129 years of Giants history. Matt did something that Mathewson, Marichal and Perry had never done, and only 21 pitchers before him in the major leagues had accomplished.
Having listened to Sandy Koufax’s perfecto in 1965, I am ecstatic to have been able to share in a second perfect game. I will not compare it to Christmas, because Christmas comes every year. It’s more like your long-lost uncle showing up, and taking you, your dad and your best friend to Disneyland for three days, with unlimited money for food and entertainment.
I listened to Ed Halicki’s 1975 no-hitter. I listened to John Montafustco’s gem a year later. Both were notable accomplishments, but not like Matt Cain’s performance. Approximately 19,350 times a Giants pitcher has ascended the mound and attempted to retire the opposition without a blemish. That means that Matt had to have pitched the best game of his life, and that each of the other players on the field, must have also played his best game of his life, in order for this to occur.
I find it easy to zero in on Melky Cabrera’s grab in the sixth, or the tantalizing snag Gregor Blanco made in the seventh, the one that sfgiants.com featured on a one minute forty-nine second film reel. You can see a catch many times in that space of time, and enjoy it every time. But there were 25 other outs recorded in the game, and each had to be done flawlessly in front of a sold-out yard.
I remember Jonathon Sanchez’ no-hitter from 2010, and how galvanizing an event that was on our march to the World Series title. There is no way to calculate the impact such an inspiring performance will have. Couple it with the Dodgers’ SECOND ninth inning loss in three nights, and we are only three and a half games back. This is why I follow baseball.
Now the Giants are about to enter a crucial part of the season, with nine consecutive games against the formidable American League West, on the road, and six more on top of that, three against the Dodgers, and three against Cincinnati. We are going to need every particle of momentum we can get to come out of this next fifteen-game stretch on top of the pack.
I hate to make predictions, because I am terrible at it. I will stick to simply saying that I believe Matt Cain’s performance will further ignite an already red-hot team, and that we will see the results of Matt Cain’s inspirational effort. If we come put above .500 for the next fifteen games, I will feel that we are in position to overtake the Dodgers.
Only time will tell if a Cainsational game makes a difference or not. My guess is yes.