Hey, whaddya know, Matt Cain got a win last night against the Washington Nationals. The Giants beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 in the series finale that secured the 4-game sweep. The Nationals turned out to be just what the doctor ordered for Cain, they are the weakest hitting team in the majors and hopefully the win can get Cain back on track. Don’t look now but the Giants are only 5 games out of 1st place in the NL West. In the past couple of years the NL West had been one of the tougher divisions in baseball, but it looks like it’s back to being one of the worst. Reminiscent of the days when a .500 record was good enough for 1st place.
Cain went 6.1 innings with 8 hits, 1 earned run, and as RMC points out, no home runs and only one walk. The longball has been Cain’s number one problem this year. In the past he’s always kept his HR/F ratio well under league average but this year it’s closer to the league average percentage of 10-12% at 10.3%. Without Zimmerman, the Nationals are a team without much power. They rank last in the National League in HR’s, even the Giants have more HR’s (46) than the Nats (42) do. So, if any team could get Cain back on track, it might be the Nats.
Cain won’t pitch again until June 14th when the Giants take on the A’s.
After Cain’s start last night, the Giants starting pitching looks like this when ranked by ERA+
Player ERA+ IP Tim Lincecum 194 83.2 Jonathan Sanchez 113 75.1 Matt Cain 94 85.1 Patrick Misch 72 42.0 Barry Zito 72 66.1
Lincecum has by far been the best pitcher on the Giants staff and in the National League he’s only second to Edison Volquez of the Reds. Sanchez has also thrown very well and after last nights start, Cain is closer to getting his ER+ over 100. He’s had a career ERA+ of 115 but he’s going to need to solve his HR problems to keep on suceeding. Misch and Zito have been equal when it comes to ERA+, the only difference is that Misch costs about $18M less per season.