x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

MLB: Matt Cain has proved he is an able Giant

The San Francisco pitcher is always conscious when he is on a roll.

San Francisco Giants’ Matt Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in major league history and first for the Giants.
San Francisco Giants’ Matt Cain pitched the 22nd perfect game in major league history and first for the Giants.

Major League Baseball has seen two no-hitters in a week, three in 13 days, and five in the first 10 weeks of the season. When Matt Cain pitched a perfect game in San Francisco on Wednesday, he was the 22nd pitcher to do so in history but the second in 44 days.

This is only the third time in history two pitchers have thrown perfect games in the same season. Two years ago both Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies did it. The time it happened before that was 1880.

The last time five no-hitters were pitched by mid-June was 1917.

This is special stuff, and Cain might have been the perfect guy to prove it. After recording 27 outs without allowing a baserunner in an 10-0 win over the Houston Astros, he didn't downplay, sugarcoat, or act like it was anything less than a big deal.

While some pitchers might not admit to noticing they are on a no-hit roll until the fifth or sixth inning, Cain said he was aware from the first out.

"I know when I haven't given up a hit; I'm always conscious of it," Cain said. "The first time through the line-up I felt like something could happen."

When Melky Cabrera, his teammate, backed up to the left-field wall to make a catch in the sixth, Cain raised his arms in celebration. After Gregor Blanco chased down a ball at the warning track in right field, in the seventh inning, Cain hugged him in the dugout shortly thereafter.

And before workers could gather all the mound dirt to take to the Hall of Fame, Cain and his wife posed for photos with them.

This has been a season for capturing moments.

It has featured star power, with Johan Santana, back from shoulder surgery to pitch the first no-hitter in the New York Mets' 51-year history.

Star-making has been seen, too, when the little-known Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game in Seattle on April 21.

Even the lowly Seattle Mariners got in on the act, tag-team style, when six pitchers combined for a no-hitter on June 8, starting with six innings from Kevin Millwood.

Jered Weaver celebrated his May 2 no-hitter in tears for the Los Angeles Angels. Is there more drama to come? Don't count it out.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated pointed out that over the past three seasons no-hitters have come as often as a phone bill: about once a month. With more than three months left in the season, that is more than enough time to top the modern record of seven no-hitters set in 1990 and 1991.


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