Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/14/12
Make no mistake about it, Matt Cain's perfect game against the Astros was a great piece of work. It was the 22nd in major league baseball history and the second in which I have been part of the telecast. It just couldn't match the first one for several reasons. My first perfect game telecast had the team I was working with win. Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers blanked the California Angels in 1994. I called all nine innings of the play-by-play for Home Sports Entertainment television. Matt Cain threw his perfecto against the team I was working with when he beat the Astros. My personal role was less as the sideline commentator. This was Bill Brown's game to call So while I have been a part of history twice I still have to go with the Rogers perfect game as my number one baseball highlight. That is in no way to denigrate what Cain did. He struck out 14 Astros. That equaled the most in a perfect game established by Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax more than 40 years ago. He was dominant. Only two balls hit by Jordan Schafer and one by Chris Snyder were hit well enough to break up the perfecto. The most questionable play of the game came in the fourth inning on a sharp liner down the first base line that hit the ground in fair territory just short of the bag then bounced wide -- too wide according to umpire Mike Muchlinski -- and a foul ball. Television replays indicated that might have not been the correct call, but many would feel the video was inconclusive. Schafer ultimately struck out in that at-bat. In the sixth inning Snyder drove a ball to the wall in left that Melky Cabrera hauled in. Snyder thought he had hit a home run and said after the game that play is when he thought it might be a special night for Cain. The Astros hit one other ball -- again by Schafer that was definitely fair and headed for the gap in right center field. But somehow right fielder Gregor Blanco laid out and caught the ball with a dive. After that Cain retired the last eight hitters with ease. In the Kenny Rogers' perfect game in 1994 there were fewer big plays. Only a diving catch by Rusty Greer in the ninth was a tough chance. Of course Rogers did not approach Cain's record-tying strikeout total either. I am glad to say I saw and was part of Cain's no hitter for the baseball experience. It would have been nicer had the Astros had the pitcher accomplishing the deed but baseball is unique to any other sport. Can anything in football or basketball match a no hitter or perfect game in baseball where the actual score of the game being played becomes irrelevant? It is just another reason why baseball is the best game ever invented. Now as Astros followers and backers, we can put Cain's heroics away just a few hours later and try anew to beat the Giants.
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