SportsNation Blog Archives Matt Cain
Does Matt Cain's perfect game belong among the greatest ever pitched? According to Bill James' Game Score method, Cain is tied with Sandy Koufax's perfect game (1965) and Nolan Ryan's seventh no-hitter (1991) for the second-best pitching performances of all-time -- behind Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game (1998). But many believe Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series trumps them all. How do you rate Cain in the pantheon of great pitching performances?
The Baseball Project, a collection of musicians united by their love of the game, wrote a song called "Harvey Haddix" that included the lyric, "Now in history/only 17/have thrown a perfect game." That was back in 2008. Were they to sing it today, they'd have to update it to 22, including Matt Cain, who seriously threw the second perfect game of the season on Wednesday night. This is, quite frankly, absurd. Perfect games are supposed to be events that happen once a decade, not once a month. It has gotten to the point that we're yawning at mere one-hitters and barely acknowledging no-nos. What's next -- 27 pitches, 27 groundouts? Or maybe 27 strikeouts on 81 pitches? There are only so many songwriting hours in the day.
Is this a sign?
There have been gaps of whole decades in between perfect games, but Matt Cain barely waited at all after Philip Humber's perfecto.
Who'd be more nervous?
Third baseman Joaquin Arias stumbled a bit while fielding the final out. It's a credit to him that his long throw didn't end up in the stands.
Which would rather you see?
Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in a game this year, a feat that is actually rarer than a perfect game, especially after this absurd outburst.
With nary a dramatic pennant race in sight, baseball fans have to find some way to kill time until the postseason. Buster Olney mused about Prince Fielder landing with the Red Sox in Monday's blog, but after some time to think about it, he came up with another potential fit for Fielder before his chat with SportsNation.
Liam (Pleasanton, California)
Do you think Cain straight up would be enough for Fielder?
Liam: To repeat, this all pure speculation, and based on nothing other than seeing how parts might fit. My guess is that the Giants would have to kick in a little something extra into a Fielder/Cain deal. What makes the Cain/Fielder think intriguing is that Cain has an unbelievably affordable contract for 2010 and a great and affordable option for 2011 -- over the next two years, he is signed to earn a total of $10 million. Fielder, alone, will make $10 million next year, and could make $15-18 million in arbitration in 2011. The Giants would get the slugger they need for their lineup, a perfect guy for their franchise, and the Brewers would get an elite pitcher with a great contract; Cain and Gallardo could be the backbone of a strong rotation. And the Brewers could try Gamel at first base. Again, to repeat: ALL SPECULATION.
Wait- why would the Giants have to kick in something extra if Cain is so much more affordable?
Rich: I ran this by a couple of talent evaluators today about all this, and they agreed with my thought that Fielder might have a touch more value as a player than Cain. Again, we're not talking about a huge difference, where the Brewers would demand Buster Posey or something like that. Full transcript