Matt Cain became only the 22nd pitcher in major league history to pitch a perfect game, with his 10-0 win over the Houston Astros. He struck out 14 batters and ESPN.com, which rates the starts of starting pitchers gave him a 101 score for his perfect game.
Lee Richmond and John Ward pitched perfect games in the NL in 1880. It would be 84 years before Jim Bunning would hurl the next perfect game in 1964. Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game in 1965, then Tom Browning threw the next perfect game 23 years later in 1988. Dennis Martinez (1991), Randy Johnson (2004), Roy Halladay (2010) and then Cain’s masterpiece last night, made him the ninth pitcher in NL history to toss a perfect game.
Barely Missed Perfect Game in April
Cain threw a one-hitter on April 13 of this season, which he lost on a hit by James McDonald in the sixth inning. So he came within one hit of having two perfect games the same season. ESPN.com rated his performance in that game, as the second best pitched game, only behind the perfect game of last night.
The perfect game was only the third in the NL in the last 21 years and Cain has never allowed more hits, than innings pitched in his eight year MLB career and has allowed only 65 hits in 95 innings pitched in 2012.
Cain has not allowed a run to score in 21 innings of postseason pitching. In addition Cain has hit five major league home runs, while driving in 20 runs as a hitter in eight seasons.
Cain in First Year of $136 Million Contract
2012 is the first season, of a seven-year contract for Cain totaling $136 million.
He has already earned $16 million, so by the time his current contract expires in 2018, he would have earned $152 million. He would only be 33 when that contract expires, so might receive another large contract, if he continues to pitch well through the 2018 season.
Leading or Almost Leading in Many Stats
Matt Cain is leading in WHIP numbers at 0.85 and is second in strikeouts among all major league pitchers with 96, which is only four strikeouts behind major league leading Stephen Strasberg with 100 strikeouts.
Cain is third in majors in ERA with a 2.18 mark. Only Brandon Beachy at 1.98 and Chris Sale at 2.05 have lower ERA’s.
His pitching stats at the age of 26 compare to those of Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton at the same age.
2012 Splits For Cain
His home ERA is 1.45, while his road ERA is 3.23. Right-handed hitters have a .163 average against Cain, while left-handed hitters have a .225 mark.
Cain has a 0.38 ERA in June, allowing one earned run in 24 innings during the month. Opposing batters are hitting only 7-71 with a .099 average after an 0-2 count.
Batters hit .139 against Cain when runners are in scoring position and hit only .150 against Cain at AT&T Park.