Matt Cain not only threw the first perfect game in Giants history last night, but he did so in dominating fashion, striking out 14 batters in the process. Sandy Koufax is the only pitcher to accumulate that many K's in a perfecto. As rare a feat as a perfect game is (this is the 22nd in MLB history), and as stated, only the 2nd time it was "as" perfect, should we be surprised by it? It's certainly something to behold, but it was Matt Cain. The same Matt Cain who was given the richest contract all time for a right handed pitcher. It should stand to reason that if someone is going to be the highest paid all time at a position, that he should do something extraordinary. Mission accomplished. And as good as his performance was last night, it wasn't the most surprising.
The most surprising performance of the night goes to a Mr. R.A. Dickey. Before you jump all over me and my Met's fan bias, hear me out. He didn't walk a batter. That alone is amazing. A knuckle baller not walking anyone. But it gets better. He faced two batters over the minimum. The first batter reached on a questionable scoring decision (hit, could have been ruled an error) in the first inning. The 2nd batter reached on a throwing error in the 9th. Dickey had no wild pitches, or passed balls...until the 9th inning, when Mike Nickeas allowed two to get by him letting the runner to advance to 3rd, then score on a grounder to short. He also struck out 12. So there you have it, complete game, 1 hit, 0 walks, 12 K's 0 earned runs, obviously coming out of it with a win. During the game, Dickey also set a Mets record throwing 34.2 consecutive scoreless innings. So this wasn't just a dominating game, this has been a dominating stretch. Over his last 5 games, he is 5-0, with a 0.23 ERA and a K:BB of 50:3. I'm not Elias, but I would venture that a knuckle baller has never been as dominant as he is right now. The thing is he doesn't just have a knuckle ball. He has three knuckle balls, technically it's one, but he changes speeds with it from anywhere in the high 60's to low 80's. He can throw a fastball in the 80's too. There is just too much to keep a hitter off balance. Dickey was just traded in my NL only league 1 for 1 for Andre Ethier to give you an idea for what his trade value might be at the moment.
- After a slow start to the season the patient Jose Bautista owner is being rewarded. He hit his 19th HR of the year last night, after hitting only 3 in the first month of the season. He has seven HR's this June and we aren't even half way through it yet.
- Lance Lynn struck out 12 in 7.1 innings allowing 3 hits and no runs to maintain a tie with Dickey for the most wins in baseball with 10. He was 23 K's in his last 13.1 innings. The case can be made that he is a sell high target, as he has never been this effective in any level of baseball before, but at the same time, he's 25. We've seen players just "click" before. Isn't that what James McDonald is doing now, and no one is telling you to trade him off, people are saying he is legit.
- Alex Presley went 2-for-5 last night. He is up to .240 on the season, which doesn't seem all that impressive, but he was batting .220 when he was sent down to AAA. He crushed there, putting up a 1.015 OPS, and since his return he is 11-for-36 with 5 extra base hits. I'm still sold on him being a solid contributor in 12 or even 10 team leagues if you need someone to fill in for an injured player.
- Mike Trout only had 1 hit last night...and stole his 16th base of the year. He's only played in 42 games this year. For some perspective, Michael Bourn has 17 steals through 63 games.
- Trevor Plouffe hit his 11th HR last night, and his 6th in in June. He has eligibility at 2B, SS and OF. Ride the streak, which could end tonight for all I know.
- Yoenis Cespedes left the game last night after tweaking his hammy again. A trip to the DL isn't out of the question.
Pitching Match Ups
Tomlin @ Leake
Santana @ Hellickson
Verlander @ Wood
Parker @ White - Parker has had two bad starts all year. Capuano had 0 bad starts all year, then threw at Coors. I know they are different players, but I'm still not taking the chance.
W. Rodriguez @ Zito
Bedard @ Hunter
Hudson @ Feldman - Hudson was awful his last time out, which matches his pattern for bad start good start all year. He may "be due" but I'm afraid of his inconsistency on the season considering the opponent tonight.
Marcum @ Hochevar
Blanton @ Diamond - Diamond has been a better version of what I figured Henderson Alvarez was going to be this year. A starter who won't get you many K's but will pad your ERA and WHIP.
Floyd @ Westbrook - I'm still rostering Westbrook hoping he turns a corner, but honestly he is probably the odd man out when Carpenter comes back. I'm not playing him tonight.
Volquez @ Ramirez - So what if it's the Mariners? I'm not playing Volquez away from Petco. Heck, I usually don't play him at Petco either.