It was nice to see a game on television. Filled me up with warm fuzzies, it did. That lasted about two minutes. Matt Cain walked the leadoff hitter, gave up a couple of bloops, threw a fastball a foot inside to Vladimir Guerrero that was raked, and gave up some more bloops. Then the Giants didn’t score. I’m sure that Cain won’t run into luck that bad during the regular season, right? Right?
Cain looked good, especially after the nightmare first inning. He had great control with his curve, though his fastball control was a little dodgy. It was nice to see him pitch well, as whatever hope the Giants franchise has for the next decade depends on Matt Cain being healthy, reliable, and one of the greatest pitchers in the game. If he struggles with injuries or ineffectiveness, the fragile illusion that the Giants can contend on the strength of their starting pitching within the next decade will fade. The sun will be blotted out. The Willie Mays statue will cry tears of blood. Matt Cain must succeed for the human race to survive.
This all goes for Tim Lincecum, too. No pressure on either of them. I’m just glad that young pitchers are traditionally the best bets in organized sports.
There are no guarantees that Matt Cain will continue to improve just because he’s a year older. That’s not how development works. But it’s all we have, though. We can quibble about including players like the Nick Noonans and Angel Villalonas or Henry Sosas and Fred Lewii, but, really, anything good about the Giants’ future has to start with Matt Cain. A poor projection means that you hate yourself.