San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw the second perfect game of the 2012 season last night. The Houston Astros went 27 up, 27 down against the veteran righthander. Cain retired 14 of the 27 batters he faced by way of strikeout.
The Giants won the game in a 10-0 rout with homeruns by Melky Cabrera, Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco. Prior to last night, the Giants had hit six homeruns at AT & T Park all season. Cabrera and Blanco also made spectacular plays in the outfield.
Cain's perfect game is the 22nd in MLB history. Back in April, Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. It is the second time there has been more than one perfect game thrown in a season. In 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies tossed perfect games. Of course, it should have been three that season if not for Jim Joyce's errant call during Armando Galarraga's masterpiece plus one.
It is the fifth no-hitter of the season and the third in the month of June. In less than a fortnight, we have seen no-nos from Johan Santana, half the Seattle Mariners pitching staff and now Cain. Jered Weaver of the Angels also tossed a no-hitter against the Twins in May.
One other noteworthy observation. Ted Barrett became the first umpire to be behind home plate during two perfect games. He also called balls and strikes during David Cone's perfect game against the Montreal Expos in July 1999 at old Yankee Stadium. Barrett also umpired at third base during the Humber perfect game.
With Tim Lincecum struggling, Cain has emerged as the Giants' ace. Cain, who just before the season began signed a five year contract extension (with an option for a sixth year) in the off-season worth $112 million, is 8-2 with a 2.18 ERA so far in 2012.