Stat Line Of The Night — 6/13/12 — Matt Cain

matt cain perfect gameWhen the first pitch was thrown to kick off last night’s slate of Major League Baseball games, there was a total of 21 perfect games thrown in league history.  By the time Matt Cain had thrown the final pitch to close out the San Francisco Giants’ 10-0 victory over the Houston Astros, there were 22.

Cain made history on Wednesday, as he retired all 27 batters he faced in order to record the 22nd perfect game in MLB history, and the first in the history of the Giants’ franchise.  The 27-year-old righty kept the Astros hitless thanks to the help of a career-high 14 strikeouts and a couple of spectacular catches by his corner outfielders.  And with his 125th pitch of the evening, he got pinch hitter Jason Castro to ground out to third for the history-making final out of the game.

A perfect game is always an impressive feat, but Cain’s perfect game may be the most impressive we have ever seen.  Of the 22 perfect games in MLB history, only Sandy Koufax has been able to match Cain’s 14 strikeouts.  According to the Bill James Game Score method for calculating the strength of a particular pitching performance, Cain’s perfect game score of 101 ties him for second with Koufax’s perfect game and Nolan Ryan’s 16-strikeout, two walk no-hitter against the Blue Jays in 1991.  Those three performances rank four points behind Kerry Woods’ 20 strikeout one-hitter, which scored an impressive 105.

Cain’s perfect game was the second in the Majors this season.  It was also the fifth no-hitter recorded in 2012, and it earns him a very deserving “Stat Line of the Night” for Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

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