Cain back at work as Giants revel in perfecto

Cain back at work as Giants revel in perfecto

SAN FRANCISCO -- The morning after entrenching himself in baseball history, Matt Cain still felt ready to pitch.

Cain said that he played catch with Madison Bumgarner around 10:15 a.m. PT Thursday at AT&T Park and immediately felt loose.

"It was kind of amazing," Cain said.

What remains truly stunning, of course, was Cain's perfect game in a 10-0 victory Wednesday over the Houston Astros. It was the 22nd such game ever pitched in the Major Leagues and the first by any Giants pitcher since the franchise was established in 1883.

Following about four hours' sleep, Cain returned to AT&T Park to begin his between-starts routine with cardiovascular work, besides playing catch with Bumgarner. After all, a starting pitcher's work never ends.

Matt Cain
Cain do!

"The crazy thing is, in four more days I have to pitch again," Cain said. "Obviously you enjoy it, and you love that it happened, but I have to kind of start thinking about what I'm going to do Monday against the Angels."

Cain admitted that he hadn't quite grasped the enormity of his feat, though the invitation he received from "Late Show with David Letterman" isn't the sort of thing that happens to just anyone (details of Cain's appearance or taping are yet to be finalized).

"I think it's sinking in, but it's probably still not there," he said. "I think it'll really hit home when I'm able to sit down and watch it, watch some of the highlights of it, or maybe go over the game."

Reminders of Cain's triumph were plentiful Thursday. Video of Jason Castro's game-ending groundout and the Giants' subsequent celebration was shown before, during and after San Francisco's 6-3 loss to the Astros.

In the Giants' clubhouse, rehashing Cain's game was the Giants' favorite pregame activity.

Right fielder Gregor Blanco spoke at length about his remarkable seventh-inning catch of Jordan Schafer's drive to the center-field warning track.

Blanco refused Cain's offer to reward him for his impossible grab.

"He asked me what I wanted -- a watch, a car, a house," Blanco said, prompting laughter from reporters. "I said, 'No man, we're a team. I'm always there for you.'"

Having the chance to make such plays is its own reward, Blanco said.

"I work hard, and it's great to have a moment like this in my career," he said. "I'm enjoying this, enjoying the moment, and I'm just thankful to the Giants for the opportunity."

Blanco repeated that he didn't think he could run down Schafer's drive. It wasn't false modesty.

"You have to give Blanco a lot of credit for the speed that he showed to cover that kind of ground," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He closed ground like I've never seen. I didn't think he had a chance."

Left fielder Melky Cabrera, who caught Chris Snyder's sixth-inning drive a step in front of the wall, reveled in the experience.

"It was all about Cain last night," Cabrera said. "We had to celebrate the great outing for him. You don't see that every day, so of course you have to celebrate it. It's a game for the history books. ... I think I was more nervous last night than when I played in the [2009] World Series."

Right-hander Shane Loux, who would have relieved Cain if the Astros broke up the no-hitter, warmed up in the underground batting cage adjacent to the Giants' dugout -- staying out of sight to avoid inciting the crowd. Loux began throwing in the ninth inning and kept track of the game via a television monitor. Once Cain induced Snyder's fly ball for the second out, Loux flung away his glove and ran to the dugout to watch the finish.

"It was the most exciting game of my career," Loux said, "and I wasn't even throwing."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.