Dale Says

April 14, 2010

Two Matt Cains

Filed under: Profile — Dale @ 11:04 am

We saw two Matt Cains last night, and only one of them was worth the $27 million, three-year contract the Giants recently gave him.

The first Matt Cain was not sharp, allowing five hits, two walks, and three runs during the first three innings and struggling with his control. That Matt Cain threw 25 pitches in the first inning, 14 in the second, 24 in the third, and his pitch count was 63 after three innings.

But in the fourth inning another Matt Cain took the mound. This second version had confidence and control and he easily retired the next nine batters he faced, throwing just 8 pitches in the fourth inning, 6 in the fifth, and 9 in the sixth. It looked like he wasn’t going to give up another hit.

But Cain was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth and the Giants bullpen couldn’t get the job done. Poor Giants defense, sharp Pirates defense, and a dumb base running decision sealed the Giants fate.

“I was happy with how I ended,” Cain told ESPN. “Mechanically I was trying to find some things early and getting myself into trouble. I put the guys in a hole through the first three and they did a great job of battling back.”

The second Matt Cain is the guy the Giants paid all the money to, and that Matt Cain is one of the best pitchers in the majors. And, at age 25, he should have a lot more years.

Let’s hope the second Matt Cain is the one we see during those years.

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