In today’s game against the A’s, Matt Cain pitched 9 innings of 1 run baseball with no walks and 9 strikeouts. Oddly enough, a major point with Cain this season has been that despite his newfound ability to win games — hint: sarcasm — some of his underlying peripherials have slipped slightly. Mostly his strikeouts and walks. There’s also been some concerns about his velocity as well.
You would be happy to know that in todays’ game, Matt Cain had one of his better fastballs of the year.
This plot shows the velocity on Cain’s pitches, pitch-by-pitch. The red line is the average velocity (92.8 mph) for his fastball during the start. Before entering the game today, by PFX, the average Cain fastball was clocked at 91.8 mph. Cain was throwing slightly harder today than usual. Another positive sign is that if you check his Fangraph’s velocity chart for the fastball, you can see that he’s been inching up slightly by start. I’d like to see his velocity chart by just home starts to remove any stadium bias, but it’s an interesting bit of information to sit on.
Cain is still posting an ungodly LOB% and his K/9 is still below his career levels — although it did finally breach 7 K’s per 9 IP after today’s start — but he pitched as well as you could hope for today. Of course, playing Oakland and their bottom-of-the-barrel offense didn’t hurt matters. But, the bounce-back in velocity is encouraging for Matt Cain.