FanDuel - WFBC

June 14, 2012

Matt Cain pitches first-ever perfect game for the Giants:
"Cain struck out 14 Astros, tied for the most strikeouts ever in a perfect game." It was the 22nd perfect game in major league history and the first perfect game against the Astros.
The Giants won 10-0, with 15 hits.

posted by kirkaracha to baseball at 01:10 AM - 24 comments

I didn't even have to look at my opponent's fantasy lineup to know he'd have Cain on his roster. Never fails. A blowout, 14 Ks, and a great catch.

Dickey should have no-hit the Rays last night. The grounder Wright tried to barehand should have been an error. Wright needs to field the ball first and make a throw. If the throw is late, then it's a base hit. You can't tell me a ground ball right to the third baseman, which he misfields trying to grab only with his hand, isn't an error, regardless of Upton's speed. We are to assume Upton beats a quick throw? Wright made a decision and dropped the ball, but I can't justify it being anything but an error unless Wright fields the ball, as he should have, and Upton beats the throw.

posted by dyams at 06:39 AM on June 14

Dyams: the Mets are apparently appealing that scoring in order to get Dickey his no-hitter. They admit it's long shot though.

posted by NoMich at 07:57 AM on June 14

The grounder Wright tried to barehand should have been an error.

I've seen that called a hit many, many times. Brett Lawrie's done it this year at least once (and it might have been Upton). I've seen it called on ARod recently, and at least one other 3Bman when Lawrie (or Davis) for the Jays hit one like that.

One way to know that it was going to be called a hit is that Wright even TRIED to barehand it. If that's Bengie Molina running out that hit, Wright knows he's got time to field it properly.

posted by grum@work at 08:20 AM on June 14

Not to diss anyone's favorite team, but I'm surprised that this is the first ever perfect game against the Astros. They're not the oldest team in MLB, but still.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:40 AM on June 14

As for Cain's masterpiece, that's the best perfect game ever thrown.

It's tied with Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game, but when you consider the offensive environment that Cain pitches in (4.18 R/G) compared to the environment Koufax pitched in (4.03 R/G), plus the team matchups (Astros 4.26 R/G, Cubs 3.87 R/G), Cain comes out ahead.

Plus, Cain scored a run in this game, becoming the only pitcher to do so in their perfect game.

posted by grum@work at 08:41 AM on June 14

I think the Astros and Rays are among the teams more frequently victimized by no-hits and perfectos.

I'd have to go check on that to be sure, though.

posted by beaverboard at 09:38 AM on June 14

It seems like the Rays are always on the other side of those things. Considering the short history of the franchise, they have to have the best losing percentage for these things (or something close).

posted by bperk at 10:03 AM on June 14

I'd have to go check on that to be sure, though.

grum@work Signal, Activate!

posted by tommytrump at 10:07 AM on June 14

That would be my Philadelphia Phillies, who have been no hit a record 18 times. :)

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:53 AM on June 14

I think the Astros and Rays are among the teams more frequently victimized by no-hits and perfectos.

That was the first-ever perfect game against the Astros and only the fifth no-hitter against them.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:14 AM on June 14

Also surprising that the Giants, who've been in the league about as long as any team and who had some quality pitchers over the decades, never had a perfecto before last night.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:33 AM on June 14

That would be my Philadelphia Phillies, who have been no hit a record 18 times. :)

From 1918 to 2012 (the only complete team batting records available on Baseball Reference), the total number of games for each franchise where they have been officially no-hit:

BAL 15 (including St. Louis Browns)
CLE 13
PHI 13
OAK 12 (including Philadelphia A's and Kansas City A's)
SFG 12 (including NY Giants)
LAD 11 (including Brooklyn Dodgers)
BOS 8
CHW 8
LAA 7 (including California Angels and Los Angeles Angels)
CIN 7
WAS 7 (including Montreal Expos)
SDP 7
ATL 6 (including Boston Braves and Milwaukee Braves)
DET 6
NYM 6
STL 6
HOU 5
MIN 5 (including Washington Senators (1918-1960))
NYY 5
TBR 4
TOR 4
MIL 3 (including Seattle Pilots)
PIT 3
SEA 3
TEX 3 (including Washington Senators (1961-1971))
CHC 3
ARI 2
FLA 2
KC 2
COL 2

posted by grum@work at 11:41 AM on June 14

I think the Astros and Rays are among the teams more frequently victimized by no-hits and perfectos.

The Astros have also been victims of other amazing pitching starts, like Kerry Wood's 20K performance, which was neither "perfect" nor a no-hitter, but has a higher game score (105) than any other 9 inning pitching performance in history.

posted by grum@work at 11:53 AM on June 14

So, given the very short time the Rays have been around, are they the worst? Do you have numbers on how long each team has been around? It sure feels like they are the worst.

posted by bperk at 12:00 PM on June 14

Given the clubs' recent histories, it's amazing that the Royals and Pirates have had so few no-hitters thrown at them.

posted by beaverboard at 12:10 PM on June 14

As for Cain's masterpiece, that's the best perfect game ever thrown.

It's tied with Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game, but when you consider the offensive environment that Cain pitches in (4.18 R/G) compared to the environment Koufax pitched in (4.03 R/G), plus the team matchups (Astros 4.26 R/G, Cubs 3.87 R/G), Cain comes out ahead.

Plus, Cain scored a run in this game, becoming the only pitcher to do so in their perfect game

What a great performance for sure. I am however not sure as to the criteria that would make one perfect game, more perfect than another due to K's or opponent. A pitcher can only pitch to the team he is playing at the time, to say someone pitched one to a better team doesn't make another perfect game less perfect. Also I am not sure strikeouts really matter, in the sense that although they are impressive what is more perfect?

Theoretically, there are several ways to look at it. One might say an absolutely perfect game and best possible pitching performance would be 27 outs on 27 strike outs with only 81 pitches thrown as it could be accomplished without fielders touching any balls (except the catcher). That is about as perfect as perfect can get from a certain type of pitching standpoint. At least for the heat throwing strike out pitcher. On the other side of the spectrum would be a pitcher that gets 27 batters out on 27 pitches, which certainly would be a more efficient way to be perfect although it requires more team help as every pitch requires fielding to complete the out.

In any case a perfect game is a perfect game and it has only happened 22 times now, no need to split hairs but I was curious as to other's opinions as to what they consider the more perfect game.

posted by Atheist at 01:40 PM on June 14

bperk -- Rays are by far the worst at no-hitters against them per year of existence, with the Nationals and Padres the worst in the National League. Oddly, the Cubs and the Pirates are the best, with the Royals the best in the American League.

posted by Etrigan at 01:56 PM on June 14

So, given the very short time the Rays have been around, are they the worst? Do you have numbers on how long each team has been around? It sure feels like they are the worst.

Based on age of teams, you only have to measure a few of them to get an idea of which ones have been no-hit at a greater rate:

Old teams (pre 1960s): Orioles - Every 985 games.
Middle teams (1960s): Angels - Every 1171 games.
New teams (post 1970): Rays - Every 582 games.

posted by grum@work at 01:59 PM on June 14

I prefer to measure the greatness of a perfect game based on the "King and his Court" scenario.

If it was just a pitcher, a catcher, and two fielders, how much of a chance would this team have for a perfect game?

I prefer a pitcher that strikes out more batters, since that limits the chances for a bloop hit to ruin the game, or requiring a spectacular catch to save the game, or, you know...this:

(Side note: I also prefer swinging strikes to called strikes, as that eliminates the variances of the umpire making the call.

posted by grum@work at 02:04 PM on June 14

I was curious as to other's opinions as to what they consider the more perfect game.

There's a big discussion of that over in the Metafilter post if you're interested. "Perfect game" is a bit of a misnomer; it simply means no one reached base. You would admit a game where the pitcher struck out 27 batters is superior to a game where all 27 outs were recorded on fly balls to the track with the wind blowing in, right?

posted by yerfatma at 02:13 PM on June 14

It's only happened 23 times, everyone keeps saying 22, but it's 23.

posted by apoch at 02:23 PM on June 14

Another historic note: Ted Barrett becomes the first home-plate umpire to call balls and strikes for two major league perfect games. His first: July 18,1999, calling David Cone's perfect game for the Yankees against the Montreal Expos.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:14 PM on June 14

Thanks, Etrigan and grum. It certainly seemed that it happens far too often to the Rays. I'm hoping that the Upton hit is not turned into an error to add another no-hitter against the Rays.

posted by bperk at 04:20 PM on June 14

That disputed hit was in the first inning. If Dickey gets a no hitter out of it, it will be one achieved without any of the pressure of throwing one.

posted by rcade at 04:43 PM on June 14

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