Matt Cain's perfect game
On June 13, 2012, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched the 22nd perfect game (no opposing batters reach first base) in Major League Baseball (MLB) history and the first in Giants' franchise history. Pitching against the Houston Astros at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, Cain retired all 27 batters that he faced and tallied 14 strikeouts, tied for the most strikeouts in a perfect game with Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965. Following Philip Humber's perfect game earlier in 2012, Cain's performance marked just the third season in MLB history in which multiple perfect games were thrown. In June 1880, Lee Richmond and John Montgomery Ward both threw perfect games; in May 2010 Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay both accomplished the feat.
Two notable defensive plays by Cain's teammates kept the perfect game intact. Melky Cabrera made a running catch at the wall in left field in the top of the sixth inning, while Gregor Blanco made a diving catch in right-center field to start the top of the seventh.
It was the first Giants no-hitter since left-hander Jonathan Sánchez threw one on July 10, 2009, against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park. The Astros were no-hit for the fifth time in franchise history, and the first time since Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs on September 14, 2008 at Miller Park (Milwaukee) (moved from Minute Maid Park because of Hurricane Ike). It was the second time the Astros were no-hit by the Giants; Juan Marichal did it on June 15, 1963. It was also the first time in Astros history that no one reached base safely.
Cain surpassed his previous personal best of 12 strikeouts in a single game, which he set in 2006. Cain's 125 pitches were the most thrown in a Major League perfect game. The Giants recorded 10 runs, the most by any team in a perfect game. By scoring a run in the 5th inning, Cain became the only pitcher to have scored a run in his perfect game.
The final out was made by Astros pinch-hitter Jason Castro. Castro chopped a 1-2 pitch to third base where it was fielded deep behind the bag by third baseman Joaquin Arias. Arias successfully made the long throw across the diamond to first baseman Brandon Belt, who then tucked the ball in his back pocket before joining his teammates on the mound in celebration.
|Houston Astros (26–36)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|San Francisco Giants (36–27)||2||3||2||1||2||0||0||0||X||10||15||0|
|WP: Matt Cain (8–2) LP: J. A. Happ (4–7)|
SF: Melky Cabrera (5), Brandon Belt (2), Gregor Blanco (4)
- HBP: Arias, Joa (by Happ).
- Pitches-strikes: Happ 86-53; Cruz, R 28-15; Cedeno 40-29; Cain, M 125-86.
- Groundouts-flyouts: Happ 3-0; Cruz, R 3-1; Cedeno 6-1; Cain, M 6-6.
- Batters faced: Happ 23; Cruz, R 8; Cedeno 10; Cain, M 27.
- Inherited runners-scored: Cruz, R 3-1.
- Umpires: HP: Ted Barrett; 1B: Mike Muchlinski; 2B: Angel Campos; 3B: Brian Runge.
- Weather: 59 degrees, clear.
- Wind: 13 mph, Out to CF
- Time: 2:36
- Attendance: 42,298
Cain's cleats, hat, uniform, dirt taken from the pitcher's mound, and a ball from the game will be included in an exhibit in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. All four umpires signed a game ball for Cain, and Belt gave Cain the ball used to record the final out.
- Crossman, Matt. "Matt Cain's perfect game adds catcher Buster Posey to select fraternity". aol.sportingnews.com. Huffington Post Media Group. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Kroner, Steve (June 14, 2012). "Matt Cain throws perfect game as Giants win 10-0". SF Gate. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- "Cain Pitches 22nd Perfect Game in MLB as Giants Beat Astros". Bloomberg. June 13, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Lee, Jay (June 14, 2012). "Blanco positions himself to save perfect game". MLB.com. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
- "Houston Astros vs. San Francisco Giants – Recap – June 13, 2012 – ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- as of 11:14 AM ET (April 7, 2010). "Matt Cain gem gives Giants a perfect game at last". Fox News. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "Matt Cain gem gives Giants a perfect game at last".
- "Boxscore: Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants". MLB.com. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- Hoffman, Benjamin (June 14, 2012). "Matt Cain's Perfection Matched by His Dominance". NYTimes.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012.