Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Arc of Cain

Tonight encapsulated Matt Cain. Brilliant early, he teases us by retiring the first eleven. Efficient, and in command, he gives up a fateful run late, and all looks lost. Cain'd again, we think. Then the team pulls off a miraculous comeback, there's a chance for a victory and a Matt Cain chance for that most elusive of prizes, the pitcher-win. Then it all looks lost, like it will all fall apart, but there's redemption in the end. In one game, a career. Speaking of careers, check out the starting pitchers tonight:
IP          H   R  HR  BB   SO HBP   BF ERA+
1660.2   1384 663 145 566 1392  47 6848  119
1517.2   1360 613 180 383 1436  35 6193  123

That's Cain on top, Cole Hamels on bottom. Neither includes tonight's stellar work. They have similar careers. Cain was the 25th pick of the 2002 June draft, Hamels the 17th. Cain debuted at age 20, in August of 2005. Hamels was 22 in May of 2006. Cain has 256 starts (plus eight in the post-season), 15 complete games, and six shutouts. Hamels has 233 starts (plus 13 in the post-season), 12 complete games, and six shutouts. B-R says Cain is worth 31.2 WAR, Hamels 30.6 WAR. Their most famous matchup was Game Three of the 2010 NLCS, the Giants winning 3-0 en route to a pennant and a World Series championship.

Tonight was an epic contest by two of the game's best. Both, interestingly, are having poor years. Both guys went eight, Cain giving up one run (Game Score 71) and Hamels none (Game Score 72). Somehow, the Giants scratched out two runs against Jonathan Papelbon to make it 2-1 in the top of the 9th. Sergio Romo loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th, but somehow held on for the win. Like I said, it was epic, and two of the best in the game showed their stuff. Did I mention Cain was a righty and Hamels a lefty? No? But you knew that already. Tonight right was right, and Matt Cain and the Giants pulled off a win and took the series in Philadelphia.




Brother Bob said...

The Giants are undefeated in the Roger Kieschnick Era.

Zo said...

Romo really did not give up a hit. The ball clanked off of Arias' glove to put a man at first, Romo slipped on the bunt to put a man at first and second and then the bases were loaded by a hit batsman. Then he managed to retire the next three hitters. Hitting a batter is not a mark of good pitching, of course, but there was not a decent hit in the inning.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, I was cranky in the 9th about that. Kept thinking it would suck to lose without giving up a hard hit ball. And the fact that Hamels got the hit that put the Phillies up 1-0. Man, that would have been a tough-luck Caining.