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San Francisco Giants Player Review: Matt Cain

November 5th, 2012 at 2:01 PM
By Michael Almonte

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain had one heck of a season in 2012 establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in the game taking his talents to the next level.

'Matt Cain' photo (c) 2008, Bryce Edwards - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Cain started the year off signing a five-year contract extension with the team worth $112.5 million ensuring he will be wearing the orange and black colors for years to come. In the Giants home opener back on April 13, Cain tossed a complete game one-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates striking out 11.

That brilliant performance was just the beginning when June 13 arrived as the Giants faced the Houston Astros. History was made at AT&T Park on this Wednesday night as Cain tossed the first perfect game in franchise history shutting out the Astros 10-0 striking out 14 and throwing 125 pitches on the night. 

Cain was selected as the National League starting pitcher in the All-Star Game in July showcasing a 9-3 first half record with a 2.62 ERA. It was Cain's third selection and this was going to be the first time he would actually throw a pitch in the midsummer classic. He was the winning pitcher on the night going two innings allowing one hit and striking out one as the NL won 8-0.

Cain finished the season with career-highs of 16 wins, 2.79 ERA. 1.04 WHIP and 193 strikeouts helping the Giants capture the NL West. He lost five games while allowing 177 hits, 73 runs, 21 homers as the opposition batted .222 against him in 219.1 innings. Cain was at his best in day games this season going 7-0 with a 2.88 ERA yielding 70 hits, 34 runs, nine homers and 85 strikeouts in 13 games as opponents batted .215. Throw in two complete games and two shutouts, 2012 was very good to Cain.

'Matt Cain 2' photo (c) 2011, dannymac15_1999 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Offensively, Cain recorded 13 hits, two doubles, one homer and drove in six RBI's in the regular season.

Cain was effective in the postseason going 2-2 in five starts producing a 3.60 ERA allowing 27 hits, 12 runs, six homers and 20 strikeouts in 37 innings as the opposition managed a .237 average off him. He even managed to smack two hits driving in a RBI during the postseason.

He became the fourth pitcher to win the All-Star Game and Game 7 in the same season joining Roger Clemens, Sandy Koufax and Paul Derringer. Cain also joined St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter (2011) to win multiple winner-take-all postseason games in a single postseason winning Game 5 of the Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds and Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals. He earned a no-decision in Game 4 of the World Series as he started all three clinching games for the Giants in the postseason.

 

'Matt Cain' photo (c) 2012, randychiu - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Giants finished the year including the postseason going 24-13 in his starts and Cain is 17-0 including the postseason when the Giants score three runs or more.

Cain was the anchor of the staff in 2012 putting together one special season that ended with another champagne bath and parade down Market Street. The scary notion for the rest of the league is Cain will be even better come 2013. We Cain do it!

Tags: Baseball, Matt Cain, MLB, Paul Derringer, Roger Clemens, San Francisco, San Francisco Giants, Sandy Koufax

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