CineSport—Matt Cain threw the first perfect game in San Francisco Giants' history in a 10-0 win over the Houston Astros, striking out 14 batters. Cain and Giants' manager Bruce Bochy discuss the game.
Not only did Cain throw the first perfect game in Giants’ history, he became the 22nd member of MLB’s 27 up, 27 down fraternity. Cain became the second pitcher this season to throw a perfect game; Phillip Humber of the Chicago White Sox was the other.
En route to perfection, Cain got by with a little help from his friends, especially outfielder Gregor Blanco, who laid out on a liner to right to preserve Cain’s pursuit of perfection.
Cain signed a big-money contract extension with the Giants in the offseason, which made him the highest paid right-hander in the game (6yrs/$127MM). Unlike many others before him who got a big payday, Cain has gotten better rather than worse and has looked deserving of that deal throughout the first two full months of the season.
Cain is the pitching equivalent of Reds’ 1B Joey Votto, who also signed a large extension and has been putting up huge numbers, earning the contract he received.
Many players sign big deals and crack under the pressure of knowing they have to perform well enough for all 162 games to deserve the huge payout. Cain and Votto are two anomalies who have thrived under their new deals.
Then there are players who have not lived up to the huge contracts. A.J. Burnett, who signed a 5-year, $82 million pact with the Yankees, could not perform under the intensity of the bright lights of New York.
Others who join Burnett in the horrendous contracts category are: Jason Giambi, who signed with the Yankees for 7 years, $120MM, Barry Zito, who signed with the Giants for 7 years, $126MM, Carl Crawford, who signed with the Red Sox for 7 years, $142MM and Alfonso Soriano, who signed with the Cubs for 8 years, $136MM.
Some slightly smaller contracts that did not meet expectations: Gary Matthews Jr., who signed with the Angels for 5 years, $50MM, and Gil Meche, who signed with the Royals, for 5 years, $55MM.
In a rare twist on a bad contract Meche realized that he did not live up to the deal and wanted to give back the money because he felt he hadn’t earned it.
After the 27th out was recorded last night, Cain, along with the red-hot Joey Votto, looks like he may be among the rare MLB athletes who break the Curse of the Enormous Contract.