Matt Cain pitched the greatest game in the history of baseball yesterday. I see no reason to qualify this obvious claim. Go to the library and look it up in an encyclopedia if you don't believe me.
The first two pitches he threw to Neil Walker are pretty good synecdoches of the entire game. Did I use that fancy literary term correctly? Don't care. State-college English degrees are free from the burden of expectations.
Anyway, back to the first two pitches. Perfect fastball followed by perfect change, and Walker did what 95 percent of the baseball world would have done: watch 'n' flail. Thanks to the art of .giffery, I would like to present these two pitches to you.
The good news is that I have a pretty good giffin' engine now. The moving images are clear, and each one has a ton of frames for an image of such short duration. The bad news is that these files are relatively huge. For most of you, that shouldn't be a problem. For the rest of you ... here's a few bucks. Go buy yourself a new computer.
And now I present the art-house hit that's cleaning up on the festival circuit: The Abuse of Neil Walker in Two Pitches:
I wanted to put these two close to each other so I could jump back and forth to check out the arm action on both. The fastball has movement that I don't remember seeing from a Cain fastball. The changeup just dies. The arm action is so close on both. So purty.
*takes off glasses*
Ladies and gentlemen, if these simulations are accurate, it appears that we can't stop Matt Cain from being awesome.
*puts on glasses to take them off again*
He has already been awesome for several years.
*gasps from the room*
*everyone watches .gifs several more times*
*xFIP runs into the bathroom to vomit*