Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Matt Cain's New Best Friend

Matt Cain must really be enjoying himself right now. He is pitching fabulously. He isn't walking batters. He looks like a smarter pitcher...and the Giants are scoring runs for him. Now lets just pray the bullpen can start t close things out for him.

After the first four seasons of his career, we've seen him lose brilliantly pitched ballgame after ballgame due to the ineptitude of the offense, and the inability of the bullpen to close out games. Given the average pitcher goes through this, but no one at Cains pace. Right about now, Cain must be praying for whatever he can get for help. He must be loving Edgar Renteria right now. After his 3-4, 2 R, 5 RBI (including a grandslam) performance, he must be Cain's best friend. Actually, the Giants are scoring runs for Matty. After the first three games, they are averaging 6.3/game. Much better than the last few years.

2009- Already this year, the Giants are 2-1 on days when Matt Cain pitches. They are also 2-1 on days when they score more than 3 runs for him. Given the one loss they didn't score runs 2, 3, & 4 until a homerun in the 8th, an inning after Cain left with a 1-2 deficit, still the bullpen managed to blow the 4-2 lead in the 8th and 9th, something all to familiar to all Cain fans. As for the other two games, 7 & 8 runs has been plenty, has been refreshing, and has been more than enough to give Cain a warm fuzzy feeling in his stomach to make him think maybe they do care. Kinda like that second (or third) Hot Tottie at Christmas time. Even still, it is early, yet maybe the Ghosts of Cains' past seasons are put to bed. Already, the Giants are at 23% oflast years total number of games they scored 4 runs or more when Cain pitches & 30% of 5 or more.

8-5, when scoring more than 3 runs for Cain. Out of those 13 starts, the Giants scored 5 or more runs only 7 times, with the team posting a 5-2 record. Of those two losses, Cain left one game in the 7th with a 5-2 lead, only to watch the team squander it and falter 7-8 in the 10th. The other wasn't such a good day for him but Cain still left after 7 with a 6-6 tie, only to watch the bullpen give up another 7 runs in 2 innings.

7-4, 3-1. Of the three 4 run losses, once Cain left with a 4-2 lead, only to see the Pen give up 4 in the 9th. Another time he was pulled after 6 with a 4-1 lead,only to see the boys give up 4 in the 7th, Once he just got flat knocked out by giving up 7 in the third.

15-6, 12-4. In Cain's first full season, the Giants had an offense...and they needed it at times with him. 13 times Cain . Of those 6 losses, once Cain left with a 6-4 lead so he could watch the Pen give up 10 runs in 3 innings. Another time he left after 6 with a 3-2 lead to see the Pen allow 4 more runs, and 4 times he got lit up like a Disneyland Parade.

2005- Matt Cain was called up late in the season and made 7 starts. Of those 7 starts, the Giants scored me than three runs 3 times, going 2-1 in those games. One of those games they scored 5 or more runs, winning it.

As we know, the Giants bullpen has excelled at blowing up following a Matt Cain lead. Actually, in Games where Cain has left in position for a Win, or the team has been tied, the bullpen has been worse than bad. It has been horrific. In 2005, out of 7 starts, the Pen blew only 1 lead. In 2006, the blown games grew to 4 out of 31 starts. In 2007, out of 32 starts, the staff lost 8 games for him. In 2008, it was another 7 games out of his 34 starts. This year, the pen has already lost 1 out of his 3 starts. In total, the bullpen has Failed to keep a Matt Cain lead 21 times out of his 107 starts, or 20% of the time. Friggin awful, but the offense has been no better.

As for the offense, it has been no better. In those same 107 games, the offense has scored Zero or One run while Cain is still pitching 39 times, or 37% of his starts. In 2005, it happened 3 times, in 2006 it was 6. In 2007 it happened 13 times and in 2008,it was a full 16 times, nearly half of all his starts. Already this season it has happened once.

Hopefully, things have finally changed for Matty.

No comments: