Matt Cain managed to throw yet another quality start last night, as the Giants bested the Houston Astros in San Francisco. Going at least six full innings and allowing three earned runs or less, the effort marked Cain’s 10th quality start of the season and 144th of his career, good for a quality start percentage of 67%.
Cain fanned a massive total of 14 Astros batters, adding a great deal of surplus quality to his quality start. Cain threw 125 total pitches, expertly mixing a two and four-seam fastball with a looping curveball and dancing changeup. The Astros did not hit any home runs. Cain’s teammates pitched in to the quality effort by scoring a great deal of runs and executing a handful of stellar defensive plays in the field. A consistent producer of quality pitching starts, Cain felt that he may be on to a quality performance early in the game, saying:
Probably the first time through the lineup I felt like I had good stuff.
The first time through the lineup I felt like something could happen.
And something happened, indeed. Tension built throughout the game, a magnetic atmosphere quivering through the alleys and rows of AT&T Park. Some fan admitted to few doubtful moments:
A few times it seemed like Cain wasn’t going to make the requisite six full innings, or that he might allow more than the minimum three earned runs. But he got it all together and he made the fans proud tonight.
As he had many times before, 143 to be exact, Matt Cain harnessed his immense talents and delivered a solid pitching performance. When he left the field, as the fans cheered around him and his teammates assaulted him with celebratory hugs and alcohol showers, one word chanted and echoed in the atmosphere: Quality.