On this date seven years ago, San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain made history by tossing a perfect game.
The San Francisco Giants selected Matt Cain with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2002 MLB draft out of Houston High School in Tennessee.
He made his MLB debut as a 20-year-old in 2005, became a staple in the club’s starting rotation the following year, and by 2009 he was one of the best pitchers in baseball.
In a career that included three All-Star appearances, three World Series titles and a sparkling postseason resume, Cain put together the crowning moment of his career on June 13, 2012.
Let’s take a look back at that memorable day.
Cain exploded out of the gates in 2012, tossing a one-hit shutout and nine innings of two-hit shutout ball in back-to-back starts in April, and things kept rolling from there.
When he took the ball for his 13th start of the season on June 13th, he was 7-2 with a 2.41 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 86 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .209 batting average.
The opponent was the Houston Astros, who were 26-36 heading into the game and on their way to a 107-loss season.
J.A. Happ started opposite Cain and was chased after just 3.1 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight earned runs before he departed.
With the Giants staked to a 7-0 lead after three innings, the outcome of the game was never in doubt. It was a magical performance from Cain that made the contest transcend wins and losses.
In front of 42,298 fans on a Wednesday evening from AT&T Park, Cain cruised through the first three innings, striking out six of the nine batters he faced while needing just 40 pitches.
He was up to 10 strikeouts by the end of the fifth inning, and the first real threat to his perfect game came with one out in the top of the sixth. Catcher and No. 8 hitter Chris Snyder got ahold of the first pitch he saw and drove it to the warning track in left field, but Melky Cabrera was able to chase it down for a nice running catch.
The defensive highlight of the game came the following inning.
Right fielder Gregor Blanco made a fantastic diving, over-the-shoulder catch on a ball in the gap off the bat of leadoff hitter Jordan Schafer.
It was smooth sailing the rest of the way and the final out of the game came on a groundball to third baseman Joaquin Arias off the bat of pinch-hitter Jason Castro.
With that, Cain wrapped up the 22nd perfect game in baseball history and the first in San Francisco Giants franchise history.
He finished the game with 14 strikeouts and needed 125 pitches to record the 27 outs.
Cain finished the 2012 season at 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 193 strikeouts in 219.1 innings to finish sixth in NL Cy Young voting. He also made five postseason starts and helped lead the San Francisco Giants to a World Series title.
Seven years later, we look back fondly on the utter dominance of his perfect game.