103 pitches, 29 batters, 10 groundouts, 5 flyouts. One bad inning, the third, 1B, 2B, 3B, 2B, 3 runs scored. Of course, he earned another ND. The mean Matt Cain start (74 IP, 36 ER) this year has been 6 IP and 3 ER, the so-called "quality start," yet M.C. has achieved that only 5 times in 12 chances. Inconsistency and a lack of control have plagued our boy all season. A simple look at his first 11 starts shows how he's pitched relative to the last two seasons.
11 starts, 11 HRs allowed, 34 BB, 59 K (multiply by 3)
33 starts, 33 HRs allowed, 102 BB, 177 K (projected full season)
The numbers for 2006: 31, 18, 87, 179 (GS, HR, BB, K).
The numbers for 2007: 32, 14, 79, 163
I like to think he is underperforming over this 1/3 of the season and that he will go through a similar stretch on the "other side of the line." Teams are slugging .421 vs. M.C. in '08, fifty points higher than his career mark. Teams are putting the ball in the air more. A quick glance at the GO/FO ratio for 2007 shows 0.93 (230 GO to 247 FO). After 12 starts in 2008 it is 66/99 or 0.67. It was 0.60 (56/94) before tonight's strong effort.
How about that triple play? One pitch! Three outs!
Extra innings. Yikes. I'm going to bed.