Did Cain pitch greatest game in baseball history?

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Did Cain pitch greatest game in baseball history?

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- For all those Giants masterpieces, from Christy Mathewson to Juan Marichal to Gaylord Perry, this one by Matt Cain topped them all. Cain pitched the franchise's first perfect game and the 22nd in major league history, striking out a career-high 14 and getting help from two spectacular catches to beat the Houston Astros 10-0 on Wednesday night. Cain's 125-pitch gem for San Francisco featured a pair of great plays by his corner outfielders. He got pinch-hitter Jason Castro on a grounder to third for his 27th and final out with the sellout crowd of 42,298 roaring. "This is incredible right now," Cain said. "It was unbelievable. The guys did a great job making it, in a way, kind of relaxing, because they were able to get on the board early." It was the fifth no-hitter in the majors already this season and second perfect game. Another Year of the Pitcher? You bet. In the very ballpark where Barry Bonds made home run history five summers ago, Cain produced the signature moment for pitchers. It was the 14th no-hitter in club history -- Mathewson pitched Nos. 2 and 3 in 1901 and '05, and fellow Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Marichal and Perry had one apiece. Left fielder Melky Cabrera chased down Chris Snyder's one-out flyball in the sixth, scurrying back to make a leaping catch at the wall. Cain raised both arms and slapped his glove in delight when Cabrera made the play. Then, right fielder Gregor Blanco ran into deep right-center to make a diving catch on the warning track and rob Jordan Schafer for the first out of the seventh. The 27-year-old pitcher hugged Blanco in the dugout after the inning. "Those were unbelievable catches," Cain said. "I mean that right there, that changes the whole thing." Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox tossed the majors' last perfecto at Seattle on April 21. This is the second time in three years there have been two perfect games in the same season -- before that, the only other time it happened was in 1880. Cain (8-2) accomplished a feat last done in the Bay Area by A's lefty Dallas Braden on Mother's Day 2010. Braden tweeted Wednesday night: "What a beautiful game. Congrats 2 Matt Cain & a historic franchise & city. A special memory ill tell someones kids about! (hash)eraofthepitcher." Not since 1917 have there been five no-hitters in a season by mid-June. The only year that came close was 1990, when Fernando Valenzuela and Dave Stewart each pitched no-hitters on June 29 -- the fourth and fifth of the season. This year, Johan Santana tossed the New York Mets' first no-hitter on June 1 and six Seattle pitchers shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers last Friday. Jered Weaver had one for the Los Angeles Angels on May 2. The Astros were no-hit for the fifth time and first since Carlos Zambrano did so for the Cubs on Sept. 14, 2008. "Just an incredible night," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We were all pulling so hard." The Giants made a big commitment to Cain this spring, locking him up for a long haul -- and he showed exactly why general manager Brian Sabean has vowed to keep his talented pitchers. In a week when the city's attention turned to golf and the U.S. Open, Cain delivered his most impressive gem yet in his 216th career start. The 125 pitches were the most ever thrown in a perfect game. The two-time All-Star who had long been the Giants starter who endured a lack of run support already was rewarded with a new 127.5 million, six-year contract in early April before the season started. This certainly meant as much or more to the homegrown pitcher. Cain threw 86 pitches for strikes, faced just four full counts and still clocked 90 mph in the ninth. Cain followed up Madison Bumgarner's 12-strikeout gem in Tuesday night's 6-3 win. "I know when I haven't given up a hit, I'm always conscious of it," Cain said. "Probably the first time through the lineup I felt like I had good stuff. The first time through the lineup I felt like something could happen." Something special, all right. It was the first no-hitter by San Francisco since departed left-hander Jonathan Sanchez did it July 10, 2009, against the Padres at AT&T Park. The Astros were no-hit by the Giants for the second time. Marichal did it on June 15, 1963. Even Cain thought Snyder had enough to clear the fences in the sixth. That's when the Astros realized it might be a long night. "When the ball I hit doesn't go out and the ball that Schafer hits is caught ... I've never seen a ball hit like that into that gap," Snyder said. Blanco said of his catch: "I didn't think I was going to make it, but I did," Ted Barrett became the first umpire to work behind the plate for two perfect games. He also worked David Cone's 1999 perfecto at Yankee Stadium. "He could put the ball anywhere he wanted," Barrett said. "He knew where he wanted to throw it, and he threw it there. Cone had the big, big backdoor breaking ball. It was against the Expos and I don't think they had faced him before. They were a little bit baffled by Cone's stuff." Cain pivoted on the mound to watch third baseman Joaquin Arias make a long throw for the final out, then the celebration began. First baseman Brandon Belt caught the last throw, tucked the ball in his back pocket for safekeeping and rushed to the mound. Catcher Buster Posey ran out to Cain, who raised his arm. His teammates jumped the dugout rail as the final out was made, a moment reminiscent of that improbable World Series championship in 2010 at Texas. "I can't thank Buster enough," Cain said. "I didn't even question once what he was calling." Cain's wife, Chelsea, fought tears when shown in the stands as the celebration began, then made her way to the dugout for a congratulatory hug and kiss. Cain had come close already this season -- not once, but twice. In his second start of the year, in the team's home opener April 13, he one-hit the Pirates in a 5-0 win, then allowed only two hits over nine innings in the Giants' 11-inning, 1-0 win over Cliff Lee and the Phillies. "I've had some opportunities in the past. There's really nothing like it," Cain said. Cabrera, Belt and Blanco each hit two-run homers and the Giants produced an offensive outburst rarely seen at home this season and rarely seen when Cain has pitched. On this night, he threw nine of his initial 11 pitches for strikes, commanding his repertoire with a dazzling fastball. Cain, who hit one drive into McCovey Cove alongside U.S. Open golfer Dustin Johnson before the game to show off one of his other favorite pastimes, sat by himself in the dugout between innings. J.A. Happ (4-7) lost his fourth straight start after giving up eight runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings. NOTES: Blanco called it the best catch of his career. "I still don't know how he caught that ball," Bochy said. ... Cabrera's first-inning homer marked his first clout at home this year. ... Astros bench coach Joe Pettini will join Tony La Russa's NL All-Star coaching staff. ... Of the 22 perfect games, half have come in the last 24 years. Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden each threw one two seasons ago. ... Castro, who grew up near San Francisco and went to Stanford, had caused Cain problems in the past. Castro hit his first major league homer off Cain in 2010.

CSN named the new official home of the Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN)

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CSN named the new official home of the Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN)

IHSSN to Produce and Provide Live coverage for three of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s (IHSSA) State Championship Tournaments: Football, Wrestling, Basketball

CSN Chicago to Televise & Live Stream (via CSNChicago.com & IHSSN.com) 33 Iowa High School State Championship Events, which totals over 85 hours of exciting LIVE tournament action featuring -- LIVE COVERAGE of 12 semi-final games and 6 final games of IHSAA Championship Football -- LIVE COVERAGE of the Class 1A, 2A and 3A semi-finals and finals of IHSAA Individual Championship Wrestling -- and LIVE COVERAGE for 8 semi-final games and 4 final games of IHSAA Championship Basketball!

CSN’s 2016-2017 IHSSN season begins with “bonus coverage” of the “4th Annual Channel Seed Ag Bowl,” which features the

Northeast Rebels squaring off with the Central DeWitt Sabers at Birney Field in DeWitt, Iowa. Game time is 7:00pm, Thursday, August 25th on CSN+

Chicago, IL (July 25, 2016) -- Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the television and digital home for the most in-depth coverage of the local and regional preps sports scene, along with the  Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN), have announced a long-term partnership agreement making the regional sports network the official home for 33 Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Championship events.  This equates to over 85 LIVE hours of dedicated Iowa preps sports championship coverage per scholastic year.  All events will also be presented in a high definition format.

The announcement was made by Phil Bedella, VP/GM of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Ken Krogman, Owner/President of the IHSSN and Brett Nanninga, Associate Executive Director of the IHSAA.

Beginning this scholastic year (2016-17), Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive television home for the following IHSAA Championship events (all events to also be live streamed via CSNChicago.com to authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers; IHSSN.com will provide direct links to live streamed events on CSN Chicago digital platforms):

IHSAA Football Championships (18 games)

  • LIVE - Twelve playoff semifinal match-ups leading up to the state championships (November 10-12)
  • LIVE - Six (8-Player & Class A through 4A) state championship games (November 17-18)
  • BONUS GAME NOTE: “4th Annual Channel Seed Ag Bowl” featuring Northeast Rebels at Central Dewitt Sabers (Thu, August 25 at 7pm on CSN+)

IHSAA Individual Wrestling Championships (3 events)

  • LIVE - Class 1A/2A & 3A semifinals (February 17, 2017)
  • LIVE - Class 1A-3A championships (February 18, 2017)

IHSAA Basketball Championships (12 games)

  • LIVE - Eight playoff semifinal match-ups leading up to the state championships (March 9-10, 2017)
  • LIVE - Four (Class 1A-4A) state championship games (March 10-11, 2017)

NOTES:

  • Exact air dates/times/channel locations for all upcoming IHSSA Championship events appear at the end of this release. Schedule subject to change.
  • Viewers are also urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s “Channel Finder” page where they can plug in their zip code and find their local provider: http://www.csnchicago.com/channel-finder

“This is a significant moment not only for our network, but also for our viewers in Iowa,” said Bedella.  “With over 85 live hours of football, basketball, and wrestling championship coverage per scholastic year, fans will be able to watch these gifted student-athletes in HD from both a TV and live streaming standpoint.  CSN is proud to deliver these live IHSAA championship events to all of our cable and telco partners in the state of Iowa and, for the first time, these events will now be fully distributed through DIRECTV and DISH Network.  On behalf of Comcast SportsNet I would like to thank Ken Krogman from the Iowa High School Sports Network, along with the IHSAA’s Brett Nanninga and his team, for their tremendous assistance in solidifying this new partnership.”

“The IHSSN has worked with Comcast SportsNet in the past and have been impressed with all facets of their organization,” added Krogman.  “We are excited to now have a more permanent partnership not only because of the expanded coverage we will enjoy through their satellite distribution, but also their commitment to bring all of our events to our viewers in high definition.  We look forward to working with them and using their expertise to assist us to continue bringing the Iowa High School State Championships to all of Iowa and beyond”.

“On behalf of the IHSAA and our customer base throughout the state of Iowa and across the nation, I’d like to thank Comcast SportsNet for their on-air and digital distribution of the IHSAA High School State Championship Events,” said Nanninga.  “The comprehensive (digital HD) coverage that Comcast SportsNet offers to its affiliates is second to none in the high school market.  The IHSAA is extremely proud of the service/coverage that Comcast SportsNet offers the families and friends of Iowa high school student/athletes.  Together - Comcast SportsNet, the IHSSN, and the IHSAA - we have made it happen.”

2016-17 IHSAA EVENTS ON COMCAST SPORTSNET

(CSN & CSN+ DESIGNATIONS TO BE DETERMINED AT A LATER DATE; SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

       DATE                TIME             GAME                                                    CSN   

  1. Thu, Aug 25    7:00 pm       AG Bowl:  Northeast  vs Central Dewitt LIVE   CSN+
  2. Thu, Nov 10    9:00 am       Football:  8 Player Semifinal #1        LIVE
  3. Thu, Nov 10    12:00 pm     Football:  8 Player Semifinal #2        LIVE
  4. Thu, Nov 10    5:30 pm       Football:  Class 3A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  5. Thu, Nov 10    8:00 pm       Football:  Class 3A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  6. Fri, Nov 11      10:00 am     Football:  Class A Semifinal #1         LIVE
  7. Fri, Nov 11      1:00 pm       Football:  Class A Semifinal #2         LIVE
  8. Fri, Nov 11      4:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  9. Fri, Nov 11      7:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  10. Sat, Nov 12     10:00 am     Football:  Class 1A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  11. Sat, Nov 12     1:00 pm       Football:  Class 1A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  12. Sat, Nov 12     4:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Semifinal #1       LIVE
  13. Sat, Nov 12     7:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Semifinal #2       LIVE
  14. Thu, Nov 17    10:00 am     Football:  8 Player Championship     LIVE
  15. Thu, Nov 17    1:30 pm       Football:  Class A Championship      LIVE
  16. Thu, Nov 17    7:00 pm       Football:  Class 3A Championship    LIVE 
  17. Fri, Nov 18      11:00 am     Football:  Class 1A Championship    LIVE
  18. Fri, Nov 18      2:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Championship    LIVE
  19. Fri, Nov 18      7:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Championship    LIVE 
  20. Fri, Feb 17      3:30 pm       Wrestling:  Class 3A Semifinals        LIVE
  21. Fri, Feb 17      7:30 pm       Wrestling:  Class 1A & 2A Semifinals              LIVE 
  22. Sat, Feb 18     6:00 pm       Wrestling:  Class 1A/2A/3A Finals    LIVE
  23. Thu, Mar 9      10:30 am     Basketball:  Class 1A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  24. Thu, Mar 9      12:15 pm     Basketball:  Class 1A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  25. Thu, Mar 9      2:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  26. Thu, Mar 9      3:45 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  27. Thu, Mar 9      6:30 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  28. Thu, Mar 9      8:15 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  29. Fri, Mar 10      1:30 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Semifinal #1   LIVE  CSN+
  30. Fri, Mar 10      3:15 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Semifinal #2   LIVE  CSN+
  31. Fri, Mar 10      6:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 1A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  32. Fri, Mar 10      8:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  33. Sat, Mar 11     6:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  34. Sat, Mar 11     8:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Championship LIVE  CSN+

All Times Central Time

Retirement suiting former White Sox star Paul Konerko well

Retirement suiting former White Sox star Paul Konerko well

Paul Konerko isn’t returning to manage the White Sox anytime soon, despite the team’s former All-Star first baseman fielding plenty of questions about the possibility. 

For now, the 40-year-old Konerko, who’s in Year 2 of retirement and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday's Crosstown opener at U.S. Cellular Field, is more concerned with fielding the balls hit or thrown by his seven-year-old son while they’re playing baseball in the park. 

“I was in the park, my kid threw me a ball, a ground ball and I booted it,” Konerko said. “And some guy’s walking by the park and said, ‘you used to get that one, Paulie!’”

Konerko is spending plenty of time with his kids — Nicholas, Owen and Amelia — and is also keeping busy by playing a bit of hockey and working on a few business interests. One of those ventures is a T-shirt Konerko helped design, the proceeds of which go toward raising awareness for Sensory Processing Disorder, which Konerko’s oldest son, Nicholas, was born with. 

Nicholas was born during the White Sox 2005 run to the franchise’s first World Series title in 88 years, and Konerko’s other two children were born while he was still playing in the majors. Because he missed a good chunk of his kids’ childhoods during baseball’s marathon regular season, Konerko doesn’t have a desire to get back into the game until he accomplishes what he wants as a father. 

“I was gone for so long,” Konerko said. “I played for 20 years, and 10 years of that I had kids.” 

So a return to baseball won’t happen for Konerko “Until I feel like I’m satisfied with where they’re in a position where I’ve done everything they want to do and they’re older,” he said. 

Konerko doesn’t have an itch to coach or manage in the majors, too, thanks to his final season with the White Sox.

[SHOP: Buy a Paul Konerko jersey]

During that 2014 campaign, Konerko appeared in 81 games but also got a taste of what it’s like to be a major league coach. That glimpse into the life of a major league manager or assistant coach, and all the commitments, obligations and criticisms that come with it, led Konerko to walk away from the game “scared straight.”

“If I had not come back my last year, there’s a good chance I would’ve played out 2013 and probably got an itch to come back sooner,” Konerko said. “But my last year, I got a really good feeling of what it’s like to be a coach, because I was on the bench a lot, they kind of let me in on some things more, almost like a player-coach situation. And I think it scared me, because it’s not easy.” 

So while some sections of the White Sox fanbase may want Konerko to come back and manage a team that’s “mired in mediocrity,” as general manager Rick Hahn said last week, that’s not something the guy with 439 career home runs is going to consider. 

Plus, he actually does already have coaching duties right now. 

“I’m the assistant coach on my kid’s seven-year-old team,” Konerko said. “Trying to work toward the head coaching job.”

Cubs finalizing blockbuster deal for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman

Cubs finalizing blockbuster deal for Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman

The Cubs are putting the finishing touches on a blockbuster deal to acquire superstar closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees, sources said Monday, in a win-now move that would cement their status as World Series favorites.

The headliner for the Yankees will be Gleyber Torres, a consensus top prospect and a defensively gifted shortstop who's only 19 years old and didn't have a clear path to Chicago with Addison Russell and Javier Baez already in place.

The Yankees are also planning to bring back Adam Warren, the swingman who didn't quite fit on this pitching staff this year after coming to Chicago in the Starlin Castro trade.

The Cubs would also give up two minor-league outfielders for essentially two-plus months of Chapman throwing 100 mph out of their bullpen: Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford.

Stay with CSNChicago.com for more as this story develops.