The difference between Matt Cain: innings-eating horse, and Matt Cain: top-o’-the-rotation starter is a plus changeup. That’s what turned into a Cy Young winner (non-’roids division), and tonight Cain had the plus changeup. Cain's fastball is hard to pick up and sneaky fast, and his breaking ball can be tight, but if he can consistently throw the changeup as well as he did tonight, that will be the thing that makes him. That’s an if, not a when, of course. But games like tonight’s make it easy to dream.
Also, credit to Bochy for getting Cain out of the game even though there was a shutout intact. The only reason to keep Cain in the game was for the accumulation of teeth-gritting gumption points. Not worth it. Sorry, Mr. Jenkins. Tonight, discretion was the better part of valor. Well done, Bochy. Well done.
More importantly, well done, Matt Cain. Not only did he pitch eight shutout innings, but he did so with a rookie catcher calling for gyroballs in every at-bat. That must have been distracting. I'll make smartass comments like that until every single person in the world admits that veteran catchers aren't magic just because they're veteran catchers. My work is cut out for me.