MATT CAIN CAN’T WIN GAMEZ!!!
Did you know there’s this weird section of the Giants fan base that believes that Matt Cain just-can’t-win-games because he-just-deoesn’t-have-the-right-stuff or because he-always-finds-a-way-to-lose? It’s frightening. There aren’t many things that come out of Giants’ fans that truly bug me but the average fan’s estimation of how good — or bad — Matt Cain is ranks near the top of my list. Cain’s had horrible run support over the last two years from a light-hitting Giants team that’s struggled even more than usual to score runs when he’s on the mound. The result is that his W/L record — maybe the most useless baseball statistic still around — has always looked bad, with more loses than wins. Thus, this weird notion was born that Matt Cain wasn’t all that good when all along he’s been really, really quite good.
I’m not going to make this a treatise on why Matt Cain is a good major league pitcher — you can search this site for his name and find plenty of evidence of why he is — but, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to see Cain pitch well in his first game of the year and get a win. I wonder if the same section of the Giants fan base that has criticized Cain all these years will flip around so fast if he has a good year that their heads will spin? I think a lot of heads could be spinning this year.
Cain’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO and the almighty W.
A very scary moment happened in the final inning of yesterday’s game when BCB favorite, Joe Martinez, took a Mike Cameron line drive off the right side of his face. Martinez was dazed but was able to walk off the field under his own power with the help of the head trainer. Martinez was hospitalized with what’s being called a concussion.
Martinez was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital. Team executive Bobby Evans, who also went to the hospital, reported Martinez sustained a concussion but no broken bones, and said tests revealed no other significant injuries. Martinez was going to be kept overnight for observation.
Evans said Martinez seemed fine, did not have much of a headache and spoke by phone with his parents, who watched the incident on television from their home in New Jersey.
Get well soon, Joe.
Finally, I thought it would be interesting to post a few PFX plots on how the Brewers pitched Pablo Sandoval.
This is a pretty basic plot showing the pitch locations during the series. The couple of pitches all the way on the left are part of the intentional walk that Sandoval received. It’s a nice plot, but you can’t tell much. Let’s check out a plot with the same pitch locations but with outcomes.
This is a little more interesting. So far, for the most part, it looks like if the pitch is really out of the zone, Sandoval will let it go. But, if it’s anywhere close to the zone he’s hacking. For most of the series it looked like the Brewers were going to pitch Sandoval up in the zone and there’s a healthy dose of pitches that were in the upper half of the strike zone. 2 of Pablo’s swinging strikes were way up in the zone — he’s probably going to have to layoff on those pitches this season. Check out all of the pitches that Sandoval hit into play that weren’t turned into outs — they were all on the left side of the strike zone or in on a right-handed batter. For most of the series Pablo hit left-handed so even though he looks pull concious at times, it looks like he can handle the away pitch when hitting left-handed.
Comment Starter: Any thoughts on Sandoval’s approach so far?