Padding the Pantheon 

After attending the Jason Schmidt 16-strikeout game a couple weeks ago, I compiled a list of pantheonic games I've witnessed. Somehow I forgot to include Matt Cain's two-hitter against the Cubs last September.

After last night, however, I wonder if that game should be bumped from the list. I've never seen a pitcher come so close to a no-hitter, although in my purist's mind the four walks make Cain's feat just a tad less awesome.

But the suspense of the close game, in which Cain was nearly matched by a very impressive Kelvim Escobar, and the thrill of realizing in the sixth inning that the Angels had a zero in the H column, perhaps gives this game the edge over last September.

I can't decide:

9/9/05 vs. CHC: 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 8 K, 105 pitches
6/19/06 vs. ANA: 8 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 10 K, 131 pitches

Last September Cain was more dominant, and it was only his 3rd major league start.

Last night he dealt with more adversity -- a wild, 27-pitch first inning and an ugly unearned run, plus the drama of his pitch count climbing ever higher.

Which was a better pitching performance? Which was a better overall game? Discuss.


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