Levine: Matt Cain And Perfection

Following a performance like Matt Cain's on Wednesday night, the Internet fills up with things written about it. Many of them are good, many of them are bad, and many of them are in between. Many of them are written by people coming from the player's team's perspective. Many of them are written by people coming from an outside perspective. But things are still written by people coming from the other team's perspective as well. In order for there to be a historic performance, there has to be an opponent against which the history is achieved.

Zachary Levine writes for the Houston Chronicle, and he was on hand at AT&T Park Wednesday to watch 27 Astros bat and 27 Astros make outs. He had to write about the game, because that's his job, and one of the things he wrote is right here, on a site called Ultimate Astros. It is fantastic, and I will quote from it.

SAN FRANCISCO - The Astros had gone 50 years and 61 games without ever witnessing perfection, and suddenly it was all around them. An unforgettable first encounter to forget.

Perfection was far more than just Matt Cain bludgeoning them 125 times over from 60 feet, 6 inches away in throwing the 22nd perfect game in major league history. No, perfection took on many forms far more subtle.

On a perfect night on San Francisco Bay, the jumbo ballpark was the perfect size - a couple of feet of imperfection, and Chris Snyder has a home run.

The bases were a perfect distance apart, a couple of inches closer to home, and first base swallows up a Jordan Schafer smash for a hit rather than a disputed foul ball.

And at the moment most vulnerable to imperfection, Schafer's drive in the seventh inning headed toward the warning track, perfection swooped back into the picture with Gregor Blanco's catch that would have been one of the plays of the year no matter the stakes.

That's the beginning. I almost quoted the end instead, but I didn't want to spoil it. You should click through, and you should get there on your own. If you haven't read Levine already, now's the time, before Cain's perfection ceases to feel current and slips into memory.

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