There are times when you know you’re watching a superb pitching performance. Much like when you turn on a classic movie, or put on a great record, you just know that you’re in for a treat. Today was one of those times. In the Giants home opener against the Pirates, Matt Cain threw one of the best games from a Giants pitcher that I’ve seen in awhile. From inning one to the very end, Cain was in control. He struck out 11 batters; he walked none; and he did it all with just 106 pitches. Did I mention that he only gave up one hit? He only gave up one hit.
Cain struck out four of 11 on his changeup.
(I’d show you a .GIF, but I’m afraid that MLB might throw me in jail.)
… had hitters swinging and missing the entire game. Cain had a perfect game heading into the 6th inning, but fellow pitcher, James McDonald, slapped a single between third and short for the first, and only, Pirate hit of the game. Cain struck out Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez three times a piece; he struck out Alex Presley and Neil Walker two times each. Just … Matt Cain. That’s all that needs to be said.
Fun fact #1: The last Giants pitcher to strike out 11 or more in a game? Madison Bumgarner on September 5th, 2011 against the San Diego Padres. Bugmarner struck out 13 in this game.
Fun fact #2: The Giants are currently averaging 5.4 runs per game. Extrapolate that to a full season and the Giants are going on pace to score 875 runs in 2012. It’s going to happen.
Anyways, watching Matt Cain when he’s “on” is one of the best things about being a Giants fan. When Cain is pitching well he looks like one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. Every pitch has a purpose and he’s almost surgical with his pitch locations. So, the next time you’re out and bragging on Matt Cain, and someone brings up his career win-loss record, you should know that you’re dealing with a terrible, terrible person and just walk away shaking your head. Matt Cain is the Litmus test for humanity.
Ah, screw it. Here’s a .GIF of Cain’s changeup. Thing of beauty, that pitch.