Waking Up to Discover You Missed the Perfect Cain

Waking up to 14 texts in the middle of the night can be a surreal experience.  Stirring from my sleep last night around 3 AM EST, I had no idea what could have happened. As I unlocked my phone, various texts of “CAIIIINNNNN” (not to be confused with Kahn) and “Dude are you watching this?!?” did not help my compression whatsoever.

What could have happened? With Cain on the mound and 8 runs on the board, I felt pretty good about a victory so I went to bed. Did Matt Cain hit a grand slam?

If I was not laying down in bed, I probably would have fallen over when I read the ESPN headline, “Perfectly Able: Matt Cain wasn’t just perfect Wednesday night. He may have tossed the greatest game in MLB History.” And boom goes the dynamite. After reading that headline, I posted this semi-coherent FB status.

Imagine that you grew up watching Giants games with your grandfather on his couch and your first baseball game was at AT&T Park. That you skipped school to go to the World Series victory parade in 2010. Basically, I love the Giants. And part of being a fan of the Giants is to love Matt Cain.

Well, Matt Cain just threw a Perfect Game and I missed it. My initial emotions were this: Absolutely ecstatic that Cain accomplished this spectacular feat, but completely devastated that I missed it. For about 30 minutes, the disappointment of missing the event outweighed the enthusiasm.

There was zero chance I would be able to go back to sleep. Soon, I started to read every article possible on the Perfect Cain. And little by little, my disappointment began to dwindle.

I never cried when my Dad and I were at the Game 2 World Series loss in Anaheim. I didn’t cry when the Giants won the World Series. Heck, I didn’t even cry when Kyle Williams fumbled his second punt to blow the 49ers season. But I cried when I watched the highlight video. After watching the 27 out compilation video on MLB.com, I did a second time. And then once more after I finished watching the game around 6 AM. I know there is no crying in baseball. Three strikes, I’m out.

Fist Pumping like a Champion.

The moment got to me. While Timmy had (maybe has?) the more electrifying stuff, Cain has always been the constant presence. A silent guardian, a watchful protector, he has been the hero we needed, not the hero we deserved. Few outside the Bay Area recognize just how good Cain is. But Matt Cain has meant more to the Giants organization than any player. There literally could not be one player who I am more happy for.

And that is part of the reason why I felt so bad about missing it. His career has been plagued by the incompetence of Giants hitting. When I saw they Giants were up big with Cain on the mound, I took him still being on the mound for granted and knew it was an auto-victory. So I just went to sleep.

After reading every article possible, watching the highlights and the game itself, my initial dismay has mostly evaporated and I can now live with myself again. While I’m still pretty upset about not watching it live, I can  rest easy knowing that I still kinda saw it. Being able to listen to Kuip, Jon and Dave Fleming throughout the broadcast also really helped.

In the end, I’m just glad that he didn’t let it get away from him. What a great event for Giants fans and baseball. But most importantly, a perfect day for Matt Cain. For once, he gets the spotlight he deserves. And for that, I can only be thrilled.

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Yes We Can

(Update)- This piece turned out to be completely off base, but it’s still an enjoyable read….

Nine games left. 4 back from ATL. 5 back from the Dbacks. It can happen, just gotta have some faith. As I told my co-worker Sundeep, I’m completely 100% diving into the water and willing to drown with this team.

Those of you who actively and excitedly follow my status updates may recall that two weeks ago after the Giants laid a goose egg against Arizona I said something along the lines of “And so the Giants season ends with a whimper.”  It was bleak. But even then I still held out hope by still watching games, looking at box scores and tracking the standings.

Then all of a sudden the team began to do something that they forgot to do all summer: get hits and score runs. Mark DeRosa began to log some quality at bats. Brett Pill got called up and became an immediate presence. Cody Ross began getting in some quality at bats. Carlos Beltran and Pablo have been on an absolute tear this past month.

With the best bullpen and one of the top starting rotations in baseball, it was evident that the Giants no longer played not to lose, but instead just to have fun. For all intents and purposes, the blue collar approach that was such a joy to watch all of 2010 has returned.

“If the Angels in the Outfield can win the pennant, so can we”

The chances of the Giants making the post season are small.  They need lots of help: Atlanta needs to continue their slide while the Giants need to leap frog the Cardinals. With three games to play against the Dbacks next weekend, the Giants can really put the pressure on them by winning the series. If the Giants can maintain their hot streak, lets say by going 7-2, then they can pull this off.

Do I think they could do it? Sure, why not. I was at Pac-Bell for the Buster Posey injury game and as soon as I left the stadium I thought the season was over then and there. But despite historically inept hitting, losing Buster and Freddy, having Tejada and Cabrera and the plague of Zito, the 2011 Giants STILL have a chance to pull off the unthinkable. With little probability of success, I’m following them into battle at the Black Gate. For Buster.