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Matt Cain fans 11, goes distance to beat Nationals 3-1

Jun 8, 2011, 6:27 PM EDT

Matt Cain Getty Images

Making the most of the little support he’s receiving, Matt Cain moved to 5-0 when the Giants score at least three runs in beating the Nationals on Wednesday.  It was his first complete game of 2011 and the 13th of his career.

Today marked the fifth time the Giants have scored exactly three runs through his 13 starts this season.  They’ve managed to win each of those games, with Cain getting two no-decisions in the process.  They’ve score a total of five runs in his four losses.

Cain helped his own cause in this one, doubling in Eli Whiteside to put the Giants on the board in the bottom of the sixth.  The Nationals tied it back up in the seventh on Rick Ankiel‘s double, but the Giants scored twice in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1.

Cain ended up throwing 110 pitches in the gem.  He reached double figures in strikeouts for the first time since a July 1, 2008 start against the Cubs.  His career high for strikeouts is 12, established in a win over the Rockies on Aug. 6, 2006.

  1. skerney - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Brandon Crawford hits a triple, makes a run saving play at short, and pushes Miguel Tejada toward the waiver wire.

  2. natstowngreg - Jun 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Last night was a typical Nats win. This afternoon was a typical Nats loss. The margin for error is very small with this team.

  3. seeingwhatsticks - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Cain didn’t strike out 11 he was just very lucky to get 11 flyballs that went directly into the catcher’s glove and not out of the park for home runs. His performance is not sustainable and he will soon regress to the mean.

    • tomemos - Jun 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Y’all giving this thumbs down may not be familiar with the sabermetric debate over Cain…or else you may not be familiar with sarcasm.

  4. marklar1025 - Jun 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Crawford has impressed me in many ways… Those line drives will start finding grass soon enough and his fielding will only get better with playing time.

  5. sisqsage - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Congrats Cainer. A class guy in the shadow of Lincecum.
    Not sustainable?
    Did you see him shutdown the Phils and the Rangers in he playoffs last year? Cain has been solid for several years, He just doesn’t get the run support, like the story said.
    With this offense you have to drive in your own runs as the pitcher.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      It’s called sarcasm. Most advanced stats people think pitchers have no control over anything other than walks and strikeouts and think that Cain has been exceptionally lucky because he gives up a lot of fly balls and relatively few of them leave the yard.

      I think Cain has a real knack for disrupting the timing of the hitter and using location and late movement to keep the ball off the fat part of the bat, thus inducing a lot of weak fly balls but a lot of people will tell you he’s just lucky.

      How did the phrase “he was just very lucky to get 11 fly balls that went directly into the catcher’s glove” not give the joke away?

  6. skerney - Jun 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    seeingwhatsticks, i saw what you wrote is practically verbatim what Cains detractors write about him everyday. Guess you gotta lay the sarcasm on a little thicker.

    • tomemos - Jun 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Guess you got to get better at critical reading.

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