Jun 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain (18) reacts during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The first week of baseball is complete and the San Francisco Giants have come away from a road trip with a 5-2 record, sitting on top of the NL West all alone and tied with the Miami Marlins for best record in the National League. Not too bad for starting the season the road. The Giants spoiled the home openers for both the Arizona Diamondbacks and more importantly, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What? You want more? How about this. The Giants lead MLB in home runs so far this season with a total of 11 bombs. To put that in perspective, last year the Giants ranked 29th out of the 30 MLB teams in total number of home runs. Sure, it’s only the first week, but hey, it never hurts to get out to a fast start and take advantage of road trips away from AT&T Park.
But oh, Matt Cain got slaughtered yesterday, by the Dodgers and by Twitter. That’s probably not a good sign, right?
Yes, it’s true. The only games we’ve lost so far this season are Cain starts. But, “washed up” and the “new Zito” is a little much, don’t you think? Even if you don’t agree with me, Mike Krukow does. He talked about Cain for a bit on the Murph and Mac Show this morning on KNBR.
This is what he basically said: Cain’s problem isn’t that he’s washed up, that he’s lost velocity, or has a “lack of stuff.” His problem so far this season is his lack of command. Krukow says Cain’s arm is fine, his velocity is fine, and he just needs better location. Krukow also says he’s “not concerned.” Also, Krukow reminded us that Cain has always been a fly ball pitcher. The ball was carrying in LA this weekend. Many of those home runs at Dodger stadium would go to die in AT&T Park.
Listen, it’s one week into baseball. Cain pitched well in the spring, he’ll get better as the season goes on, just like last season. He was spectacular in August and September last year. Yes, we need him to be good all season long, but don’t start freaking out after two outings. It’s still early. If it’s July and he’s got a Barry Zito -like ERA, then I’ll admit I was wrong. Also, Cain is getting older. Sure, he’s “the horse,” but he’s probably not going to ever be as dominant as he was when he was younger. It’s part of the game and aging happens to the best of us, even baseball players. You make adjustments and learn how to pitch better and smarter.
So, settle down folks. Matt Cain is neither washed up, nor should he ever be compared to Barry Zito.