Matt Cain continued his studly ways in Cincinnati tonight, tossing a 7-hit shutout against a good-hitting team (.351 wOBA 1st in NL). Not only that, he laced an RBI single up the middle in the 8th inning to score Buster Posey and make it 3-0. What a great ballplayer we have! Juan Uribe golfed a home run in the 4th inning to start the scoring and give Cain the only run he needed. Bengie Molina rose from the dead to stroke an RBI single just ahead of Matt's to make it a 2-run lead.
Cain came into the game with a 0.996 WHIP, and with 9 baserunners tonight (7 hits, 2 walks), his 1.000 mark puts him 3rd in the NL behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Adam Wainwright. Matt Cain doesn't overwhelm you. He doesn't have Lincecum's electricity--or his hardware. He doesn't have the "swing-through" stuff that Jonathan Sanchez flashes. But he has 85-1/3 innings, 5th in the NL, behind Roy Halladay (93), Adam Wainwright (88), Dan Haren (87-2/3), and Ubaldo Jimenez (87-1/3). He just keeps it coming with all his pitches for as long as he can. He was throwing 93-mph fastballs in the 9th! Cain gives up a lot of fly balls, and you'd think that would hurt him in the Reds' ballpark, but it didn't tonight. The Reds seemed like they got some good swings but not solid contact. Matt Cain is only 25, but he pitches like a grizzled veteran. He was so bloody calm all evening, mixing it up, trusting his arsenal, hitting his spots, just exuding confidence and control. The guys made all the plays behind him, too. Our fielding has been exceptional, don't you think? That has to help a pitching-dependent team.
Final line: 34 batters faced, 116 pitches (78 strikes), 7 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, Game Score 76.
Here's a stat line to enjoy, Buster's first 10 games in 2010: .444/.487/.556