When a pitcher throws a perfect game there are elements beyond his control that have to go his way in order for it to happen. Sometimes, these moments are plentiful. Sometimes they are rare. Cain’s perfect performance tonight required a couple of remarkable defensive plays, but outside of an amazing catch by Gregor Blanco to lead off the seventh inning, the right handed pitcher, who has previously recorded three one hitters and has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning five times in his career, was in control and absolutely dominant throughout tonight’s 10-0 victory over the Houston Astros.
This was the Blanco catch:
This was Cain’s reaction:
Over 125 pitches (86 strikes, 39 balls), Cain struck out a perfect game record and career high 14 batters tonight. That’s a lot of pitches, but it’s also a lot of strike outs, and quite frankly, you don’t get one without the other. Cain’s dominance is perhaps best seen in his game score of 101 (the second best ever recorded for a nine inning game), or by the fact that he recorded 14 swinging strikes.
Or maybe his velocity chart, which reveals that Cain kept a consistent speed on his fastball throughout the game.
To be fair, I don’t think there is anything as simple as a game score, a count of swinging strikes or a chart that can properly convey how well Cain pitched tonight. It simply must be seen. As much as I enjoy baseball, I rarely count myself privileged to have actually watched a game.
Tonight’s exceptional effort was an exception.
Should of got a hit
— Astros County (@AstrosCounty) June 14, 2012