FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. **Perfect Game not no-hitter

    Comment by pm — June 14, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  2. His wife’s perfection is more impressive.

    Comment by West — June 14, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  3. Matt Cain.

    Comment by Romogenized Melk — June 14, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  4. Cue the FIP and xFIP haters in 3, 2, 1…

    Comment by TKDC — June 14, 2012 @ 11:59 am

  5. Cain was very complimentary of Posey in the post game interviews. Here is a quick one I found elsewhere – “I can’t thank Buster enough. I didn’t even question once what he was calling.” So for a pitcher whose success has been built on the set up of his pitches, Posey must be a on that list of great game callers.

    Comment by eastsider — June 14, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

  6. “It wasn’t only the most dominating performance of 2012, it was arguably one of the best starts the game has ever seen . . . ”

    One too many hedges here. There is no argument that it was *one* of the best starts the game has ever seen. Arguably, it was *the* best, though you’d ultimately lose that argument to Kerry Wood.

    Comment by AF — June 14, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  7. Cain has not always had the arsenal of secondary pitches to set up the fastball and it has still always been good at avoiding contact and solid contact. Cain’s fastball has always had late movement that is hard to see but reduces contact significantly. He also has always had great command of it. It’s a big part of the reason why his HR/FB ratio has always been so low. It looks hittable, but hitters just can’t seem to square it up.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — June 14, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  8. And just inked for 5 more years . . . priceless.

    Comment by The Wisdom Cow — June 14, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  9. Fantastic writeup, Mr. Moore.

    It’s very rare to see an article about a feat like this that avoids spinning off into hyperbole, rambling, or pointing out the obvious. This article very neatly captures what made this specific perfect game so well-done, and makes me appreciate Cain’s approach to the game in general. And all with very accessible and simply written uses of pitch data.

    Also, I now feel like I have a better understanding for what the absolute best outcome of “pitching backwards” can be. I’ve always heard that phrase tossed around, but Cain’s work last night really demonstrated it well, as you pointed out.

    Nice work!

    Comment by Snowblind — June 14, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  10. Fun to see the fan in the background of the second gif raise his fist, knowing that the induced groundball would produce an out.

    Comment by James — June 14, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  11. indeed, fame can get you some marvelous things.

    Comment by Henry — June 14, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  12. A lot a hard throwing guys have come into Righetti’s shop, Cain, Wilson, Casilla and Lincecum to name a few. It seems he’d rather make them pitchers and not throwers. You bet your BABip’y,

    Comment by channelclemente — June 14, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  13. I looked up Koufax’s 14K perfect game and was impressed that he struck out the side in both the 8th and 9th innings. Does that give him the edge over Cain? I think so.

    Comment by Nathan — June 14, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  14. Cain’s beauty is that he is a right-handed crafty lefty. He has that “stuff” that allows him to have a much below average BABIP than the vast majority of pitchers pitching today.

    And what people who don’t know much about Cain need to know is that Cain has been like this from the get-go. Sure, he has improved himself over the years – in particularly, dropping his walk rate to minuscule levels – but he has been a no-hit pitcher from the beginning, just waiting for it to happen. He is a pitcher, not a thrower, almost preternaturally as he was like this when he was only 20 and joining the Giants, so he’ll go for the strikeout if it’s there, but he trusts his stuff enough that should they make contact, it’ll be weak contact most of the time.

    And this is not surprising to most Giants fans. In his third MLB start, he had a complete game 2 hitter with only 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. The GameScore of that game? 86, not that far away, but ultimately almost 7 years away from this perfect game. Unfortunately, 1 of those hits was a homer, so it was not a shutout, which might have gotten more national attention, but still, it got a lot of Giants fans attention. And without that homer, his GameScore would have been 90. Ironic since he has rarely given up homers over his long career, much lower HR/FB than other pitchers as well (as BABIP).

    The shocker for long time Giants fans is the perfect game. That is the big surprise as he had around a 4.0 BB/9 average in his early years. However, he has steadily improved, to mid-2′s the past couple of seasons, and now mid-1′s. Maturity and experience, paying off, so it is not a surprise now, but relative to where he was 7 years ago, big surprise.

    The odd thing is that there were a lot of Giants fans who wanted to trade away Matt the past few years because these fans wanted more offense. Us who wanted to keep him knew that he was too valuable to trade away, as pitching is the key to the playoffs and World Series championships. Luckily Sabean knows this too, as he has built the Giants around pitching and fielding (among the leaders in DRS per Fielding Bible the past few seasons).

    The Giants – potentially Team of the 2010′s Decade – is built off of stout pitching and Cain has been the stoutest of them all, Lincecum included. And with this game, now everybody knows it.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — June 14, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  15. yeah, probably. who was the opposing team? the Astros are kinda lame.

    Comment by question — June 15, 2012 @ 1:28 am

  16. btw this site is becoming a little bit too SFG-centric lately. 4 Matt Cain stories in 2 days? i think i now know what a Yankees or Red Sox fan feels like while watching ESPN.

    Comment by question — June 15, 2012 @ 1:57 am

  17. Great article, and I will add to the above nitpick the incorrect usage of not only… But also

    Comment by Nivra — June 15, 2012 @ 3:12 am

  18. Because a perfect game happens all the time.

    Comment by Nivra — June 15, 2012 @ 3:16 am

  19. koufax faced a cubs team with some hof names…but a team that finished well below 500

    Comment by walt kovacs — June 15, 2012 @ 4:22 am

  20. seemingly…

    Comment by macseries — June 15, 2012 @ 10:21 am

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