The Nearly-Perfect Matt Cain

“Before Matt Cain made history last night, before he tied Sandy Koufax’s record for most strikeouts in a perfect game, before he tossed a fastball for the 125th and final pitch, the most recorded by a pitcher in a perfecto, he was almost perfect.

The first time, he flirted with a no-hitter against the Athletics at the ripe old age of 21. The Giants were sunk at the bottom of the NL West in mid-May, facing the second-place Athletics with just half a game difference between them. On May 21, 2006, his bid for a perfect game dissolved as quickly as the 3rd inning, when Jay Payton drove a double past Randy Winn to right field. Further unraveling the no-no, Cain then issued back-to-back walks to Jason Kendall and Nick Swisher, loading the bases before inducing a groundout from Mark Kotsay. One walk followed in the 5th, and from then on, Cain was flawless.”

Full post at Around the Foghorn here.