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Post-game thread: Cain dominates

That’s what Matt Cain looks like when he has command of three pitches. His fastball is always special, whether it’s zipping along at 90 mph or 94 mph, but when he’s getting a big, controllable break on his curve (and/or change), he’s a beast. What a delight that was to watch.

Cain is the master of the one-hitter, as this was his 10th start in the majors in which he only allowed one hit. Only one other was a complete game, though, so this still ranks as one of the best starts of his career. In most of his other starts this season, he was yeomanishly effective, chomping away at innings and getting outs while walking a ton. In this start, he reminded everyone why Matt Cain was Matt Cain before Tim Lincecum was the flavor of the month generation. What a game.

When people bemoan the offense to the point of nausea, it’s partly because we love this pitching staff so freaking much. Cain is the calm, wry old soul who pitches like a grizzled veteran even though he’s still just 25. Lincecum is the weird, affable prodigy, doing cartwheels and growing his hair out. All I want for them is an offense that can sniff the league average. Most of the time, that’s just not going to happen. Tonight, though, you get to live like a king, Matt Cain. Don’t get used to it. Unless like you pitch like this much of a badass for the rest of your career. Then you can get used to whatever you want.

Other points:

  1. Who put Bengie Molina and Aaron Rowand back-to-back in the lineup? Good gravy. Kudos to Rowand for his sac fly in the eighth, but that’s a bear trap of slump in the bottom of the order there.

  2. I’ve waited a couple of games so I wouldn’t overreact, but here goes: My word, Freddy Sanchez can play a mean second base.

  3. If Dave Roberts can pop up at the age of 30 and be a reasonable leadoff option until a mismanaged team wants to throw ill-advised money at him five years later, maybe Andres Torres isn’t just a mirage. His problems with major league breaking balls might just have been a product of sporadic playing time, and maybe now we’re seeing the guy who demolished AAA pitching before the Giants picked him up for free. Maybe. At the very least, it’s fun to watch him play right now.

Laugh it up, fuzzball: this was one of the best games of the season.