Matt Cain: Opening Day starter

Christian Petersen

You are not surprised.

Okay, here's the big news: Matt Cain is the Opening Day starter for the 2013 San Francisco Giants. This is not big news. It clearly wasn't going to be Tim Lincecum again, and while I guess Ryan Vogelsong could have been a dark-horse contender for the role, it was always going to be Matt Cain, mostly because of the awesomeness, but don't forget about the awesomeness, either.

Here's something that you might not have realized, though: This is Matt Cain's first Opening Day start. That almost seems impossible, but it's true. The list of Opening Day starters since AT&T Park opened:

2000: Livan Hernandez
2001: Livan Hernandez
2002: Livan Hernandez
2003: Kirk Rueter
2004: Kirk Rueter
2005: Jason Schmidt
2006: Jason Schmidt
2007: Barry Zito
2008: Barry Zito
2009: Tim Lincecum
2010: Tim Lincecum
2011: Tim Lincecum
2012: Tim Lincecum

Oh, cool, Rueter started Opening Day in 2003. I forgot about that. Sure, give him the Opening Day nod EVEN THOUGH YOU WEREN'T WILLING TO START HIM IN GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES FIVE MONTHS EARLIER, but it's not like I dwell on those things. There's the list, and if you had forgotten what the organization thought about Livan Hernandez, well, there you go.

Nary a Cain start, though. He almost certainly deserved it in 2008, seeing as his competition had an ERA that was almost a full run higher. Those were also the days of hyper-low run support, though, and Cain was a 22-year-old with a 7-16 record, so I guess there was a semi-valid argument to be made that he was a delicate flower worth protecting from undue pressure.

When Matt Cain became Matt Cain, Ace Pitcher, he was in the shadow of Tim Lincecum, Cy Young Winner. It was a nice problem for the Giants to have, being unable to reward Cain with an Opening Day start.

Did you know Jack Morris started on Opening Day for every single team in baseball from 1980 through 1989? Look it up.

Some people really care about this unofficial honor. And, you know what? When it comes to Matt Cain, I do too. Dude went 15-30 from 2007 to 2008, even though he pitched really well, and he's the link between the wretched Giants and the championship Giants. So, yeah, it means something that he gets to start the season off (and pitch against all of the opposing aces, too.)

Is this where I drop in a video? I believe it is.

Yeah. That was fun. He was a pitcher's hit away from a perfect game in that one, which is kind of stunning. Is this where I drop in a GIF? I believe it is.

Cain-again_medium


Matt Cain is the Opening Day starter for the first time, even if he's been the metaphorical Opening Day starter since the Giants called him up in 2005.

In conclusion, Matt Cain.

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