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Matt Cain gets Cained

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Once more, for old times’ sake

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants
At least we still have Matt Cain pitcherface to cheer us up
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cain had a fantastic game tonight, going seven innings, giving up just two runs, and only one earned, and generally keeping a very poor offensive Giants team in the game even when the offense was doing nothing to support him. Or, to put it another way:

MATT CAIN IS BACK, BABY

It’s a classic Caining, and it was kinda like sleeping under your baby blanket. Even though it was for the most part an incredibly unsatisfying experience, something about it was karmically right, as if we were safe at home (Please disregard that at no point tonight was any Giant safe at home). This is, in a sense, where Matt Cain belongs: pitching extremely well, getting no support from his teammates, and eventually taking a loss for his trouble, which galls us all even though it is universally acknowledged that wins and losses are bizarre, arbitrary stats that tell us very little about the way a pitcher actually performed.

Of course, saying Matt Cain is back isn’t exactly right just based on tonight; historically, he had success by inducing lots of fly balls and then having them not leave the park, while tonight Cain was a ground ball machine. Despite what you may have heard on the broadcast, Cain’s ground ball/fly ball splits for the year are just about what they’ve been for his career, so Grounder Cain is probably more a one game outlier than a lasting trend. But it was good to see Matt Cain avoid walks and it was good to see Matt Cain pitch well and if the offense failed to score runs for him, well, to paraphrase Jim Gordon, it’s because he can take it.

Yeah, that reference was from 2008, but so was this game, so it all works out.


The offense was bad.

Is there another way to put that? Is there more to say about it? The Giants came into this game as the worst offense in baseball, went up against Jaime Garcia, who’s not having all that good a year, and continued being the worst offense in baseball. Eduardo Nuñez was the offensive star with two infield singles, Christian Arroyo very graciously refused to allow Grant to reverse jinx him by going 0 for 3, and the two best hit balls of the night were both fouls off the bat of Matt Cain.

I know you don’t think that “worst offense in baseball” business was hyperbole, because you’ve been watching this team, but just to be clear:

The Giants are a bad baseball team playing badly. The hot streak they were on last week seems like it was years ago.

Poll’s still open! Get your votes in now, people. Don’t let those 13% be lonely in their correctitude.