Baseball in June is one of my favorite things, but at the same time, I can usually take it or leave it if I’m not in the stadium. The glow and manic energy from Opening Day has faded and the hunt for the Postseason seems very far away. Unless the Giants are playing exceptionally, I’ll turn on the game when I get home from work or not, depending on what else is going on. This point in the season feels like the long, slow slide to the All-Star break before things start to get nutty again in the play off hunt.
Last night, I got home from running errands and was chatting on the phone to my parents, who had just arrived back home on the East Coast. I was glancing through my Twitter feed and noticed that Matt Cain seemed to be having an exceptional game with strike outs. I flicked on the television at the bottom of the 7th inning (so, yes, I missed Blanco’s catch) and saw that the score was 10-0 Giants. I updated my parents (who tolerate my obsession with the Giants the way good parents do) and then I noticed the 0-0-0 for the Astros as CSN Bay Area headed to commercial break. I quickly got off the phone because I knew I needed to watch the end of this game with my full attention!
The camera kept panning to Matt’s wife who was standing in the stands, trying to keep cool, but failing adorably. My phone started to light up with texts from friends, watching the game and wanting to make sure I was watching too. I felt like we should have been gathered at Civic Center plaza again, but I know that no one wanted to move an inch away from the television screen as Matt quickly put away the batters in the top of the 8th. The bottom of the 8th came and went quickly, no caring about the offense of the Giants one whit. “Just get him back out there,” said the television announcer.
There was no cut to commercial after the bottom of the 8th, just Posey popping out of the dugout, followed by Cain, heading to the mound for the last inning of the game. I was literally on the edge of my couch as each pitch was thrown. One out and I was screaming and clapping in my apartment. Two outs and my eyes started to tear up because he was either going to pitch a perfect game or a perfect game up to the last out and I was going to be crying either way. Last pitch, hit on the ground Arias and hurled back to Brandon Belt. OUT! Perfect fucking game for Matt CAIN!
Twitter erupted and I was giving Matt Cain a solitary standing ovation in my apartment, while tears streamed down my face. This was the 22nd Perfect Game in the history of the Major League Baseball. Think about that. With 30 teams (give or take) each playing 163 games a season since 1876 and this is only the 22nd time it has happened. We’ve had twice as many Presidents as we’ve had Perfect Games (with only 87 extra years for Presidents). Like Brandon Belt, I had a hard time going to sleep last night and this will be a “Where were you?” moment for a very long time!
Edited to add two magnificent .gifs from McCovey Chronicles: