I hardly got any sleep last night. I went home after the game still trying to really absorb what happened.
A perfect game from Matt Cain. The most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen.
And I keep thinking how incredibly grateful I am to have made the catch that kept the perfect game going.
I watched the replay a dozen times when I got to the apartment I’m renting a few blocks from the park. My wife and almost-two-year-old son were waiting up for me. She was upset she didn’t come to the game, but I told her it was OK because it was so loud and the baby probably would not have been happy. She told me that when I was being interviewed on TV, the baby just stared at the screen like, “That’s my dad!’’
When I watched the replay, all I could think was, “I can’t believe you really did that. That’s crazy.’’
What I liked most was the feeling it created in the ballpark. Everyone just went crazy. And I think at that moment Matt knew he was going to do it. It was like he got more confident as the crowd got louder.
When he tipped his cap to me, well, that’s the greatest compliment a fielder can get because he knows you’re there for him. That’s what a team is about.
In the dugout, everyone went nuts. They’re asking me, “How’d you make that? That was the greatest catch I’ve ever seen in my life.’’ There were two really great moments. Bruce Bochy came up to me and said, “In all my years, I’ve never seen a play like that, man. That was great.’’ And he gave me a hug.
Then Matt came up to me and said, “What are you doing playing there? How’d you make that?’’
“I’m there for you, man’’ I said. “I did it for you.’’
I was playing a few feet closer to the gap than usual. Ron Wotus, our bench coach, talked to me before the first game of the series on Tuesday about how we’d position ourselves for different hitters. He said Jordan Schafer is a gap hitter. So when Matty went 3-2 on him, I knew he’d have to throw Schafer a pitch he could hit and let the defense take care of it.
In a situation like that, all I’m thinking is, “Hit it to me.’’
All of us knew what was at stake, of course. You try not to look at the scoreboard. You try not to think too much about it. But you have a bit more intensity. You’re focusing more.
As soon as the ball came off the bat, I was running. I got a great jump. Then I just ran as hard as I could. I saw the ball coming closer. I kept running. Then I threw myself at it. When I popped back up with the ball in my glove, I think the umpire didn’t believe it because it took a few seconds before he called the out.
In the ninth inning, I saw Melky in left field waving his arms for the fans to get on their feet. So I did the same thing in right field. We all wanted to do whatever we could to send Matty all the support we could.
Then Arias threw it to Belt and the game was over. We all just leaped on Matty. It was the best feeling. Matt so deserves it for everything he’s done for this team. We were so happy for him.
I believe in fate. I was thinking about all the factors that had to come together for me to have been at that spot at that moment. So many great things have happened to me since I joined the Giants, so actually I was expecting to have a moment like that. I really was. There was something about this team that I felt in the clubhouse during spring training. Just how everyone gets along. I felt like there was something special going on. And I felt like there was some reason I had landed with this team for this season.
And now I have the highest honor a player can ever have: to play a key role in the greatest single game in a team’s history.
I’m still sorting through all my text messages, mostly from friends and family in Venezuela. For some reason, the sports channel in Venezuela was playing the game, so my family stayed up really, really late to watch. (They’re three hours later than the West Coast.) They were all so happy for me.
I think I’ll go the Murph, our great clubhouse manager, to see if there’s a ball or something from the game I could have. Wouldn’t it be great to have the actual ball I caught? And get Matt to sign it?
That would be something special to pass down to my son.