Matt Cain had the freakiest inning of his career at home against the Cardinals in April, and damn close to the same thing happened again today in St. Louis. He cruised through the first six batters, looking sharp and in command, then all of a sudden he was in the stretch and the hailstorm of hits would not stop. Is he mechanically unsound? Mentally unfocused? Tipping his pitches? What the hell is going on? I wish I knew. It was not fun to watch, that much I can say. Maybe the Cards are still pissed about losing the LCS and save their extra-special efforts for the Giants. Then again, they are the best team in baseball right now, and hit the snot out of the ball no matter who they play. The lineup was missing both Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval and surrendered feebly to Shelby Miller's fastball, making the first game of the doubleheader a mismatch. They say "hitting is contagious," so perhaps bad starting pitching is as well. The Giants have not been able to keep the quality starts coming, something quite out of character for this club. Cain looked like he'd righted the ship the last two times out, yielding a total of six hits and zero homers and the team won both games. He had four good starts out of five for the month of May, and the team won all five, but flipping the calendar to June released the Hounds of Hell. Cain has now given up 46 runs (7 today, all in the 3rd) in 74-1/3 innings!
After our boy signed his mega-extension, he responded in Year One with a one-hitter in the Home Opener, followed it with The First Perfect Game in Franchise History, then a win in the All-Star Game, and finally a World Series Title. Not bad. Not bad at all. Hell, that's almost worth a hundred mill right there! But Year Two is not going according to plan. Not according to plan at all.
Matty darlin', I could never be angry with ye. Disappointed now and then, for sure. We all have our ups and downs, this I know only too well. Right now, though, I'm feeling something new. I'm shaken. Aye, that's it. Shaken. Like if Caruso hit a sour note, or Picasso's pencil ran off the page. Come back to us, lad, and soon.