Matt Cain threw an outstanding ballgame (Game Score 77), and with a little bit o' bloomin' luck might have finished the 8th. As it was, newcomer Javier Lopez got an easy out and the Giants went to the dugout up 2-0 and smelling a sweep. Brian Wilson came out for the 9th after a two-game hiatus due to back spasms and collected the save. The Giants swept the Dodgers on national TV to complete a terrific weekend of baseball.
Cain threw a season-high 124 pitches to 27 batters to get those 23 outs. He allowed only 4 hits, all singles, and had 1 walk against 7 strikeouts. He was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes and that kept the Dodgers guessing. Matt got 22 called strikes, 17 swinging strikes, 20 foul strikes, and 19 in-play strikes, and induced 10 ground balls to only 5 fly balls. He also helped himself out by picking off Matt Kemp in the 2nd. Once again he was matched up with the other team's ace and once again he and the team responded.
It was a great win for the club, and a personal milestone for Cain as he finally logs a "W" vs. LA. The Giants are tied with the Padres with 61 wins, the most in the NL. The Giants have scored 0, 1, or 2 runs for Cain in 55 of his 159 starts, and he's 7-38 in those games. (Here's a more detailed breakdown if you want to see some freaky numbers.) Assigning wins to pitchers, when a win is so clearly a team stat, seems a silly custom to me, but that's how it is. The GIANTS got a great performance by their 25-year-old veteran and turned that into a win.
Here's some notes on Cain and the Dodgers:
9 Sep 2007: Giants beat LA 4-2, Cain ND despite 7 IP and 2 ER
21 Sep 2008: Giants beat LA 1-0 in 11, Cain ND despite 6 shutout IP
27 Sep 2008: Giants lose 2-1, Cain L despite 7 IP and 2 ER
15 Apr 2009: Giants lose 5-4, Cain ND despite 6 IP and 2 ER
In six starts in 2008, Matt had a 2.79 ERA vs. LA but was 0-3.
They haven't all been stinkers.