James: The greatest of games

From SABR member Bill James at Bill James Online on June 21, 2012:

 I was very into Matt Cain’s perfect game, watched the last three innings of it on my television machine, called my wife to watch the end of it, e-mailed my son in San Francisco to make sure he was watching.     The morning after the game it was reported—erroneously—that Cain’s 101 Game Score was the highest Game Score in 50 years, and then I was pretty much bombarded by questions like this in “Hey, Bill”:

Matt Cain posted a 101 in his perfecto tonight. Happ logged a 10. That’s a 91-point spread — I wonder if that’s a record?

Hey Bill, your Game Score made the USA Today. Unfortunately you had four and-a-half fewer column inches than Rihanna so maybe all you need is a blonde wig. Anyway, they mentioned that Cain’s Perfect Game had a 101 Game Score but Kerry Wood still had the record with a 105. It went on to (and I think this is lost in the shuffle) mention that Cain’s game came against a retooled Stros lineup while Wood threw that game against a 102 win Stros team. If you had to pick, is that your most dominant game ever? I was watching it that day and that’s as unhittable as I’ve ever seen anyone. They need to factor in the fact that Cain did this at a park that is just second to Yosemite in terms of size.

OK, well. …first, Kerry Wood’s game is not exactly the record, but it is the record for a 9-inning game.   The highest Game Score in the last 50 years—although it is barely within the last 50 years—is a very remarkable game that absolutely nobody seems to remember.

Read the full article here: http://www.billjamesonline.com/the_greatest_of_games/

Originally published: July 5, 2012. Last Updated: July 5, 2012.