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Fan’s Preview: Could Giants’ Matt Cain Achieve Perfection Again Versus Astros?

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San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain has had one of the best months a player could have. On June 13, Cain achieved perfection by pitching the 22nd perfect game in history against the Houston Astros. Just last week, he was named to the All-Star game as the starter over New York Mets' R.A. Dickey. Now, Cain will once again face the Astros for the first time since his perfect game, giving him a great chance at starting his second half of the season on the right note and help the Giants extend their lead in the NL West.

Cain could have entered a better situation for his first start since his All-Star game appearance on Tuesday, July 10. After a stellar performance by Tim Lincecum last night in where he struck out 11 batters over eight innings, the Astros have now lost 12 straight road contests and have scored just 13 runs in their last six games.

While Cain was recognized as one of the best NL pitchers at the break, he could definitely use another great performance against the Astros. Since his perfect game approximately a month ago, Cain has only won one game and has sported a 4.26 ERA in 25.1 innings. If the Giants want to continue their push towards winning the NL West pennant, they will definitely need the backing of Cain as their ace of the rotation and a solid second half of the season.

Matchup:

The Houston Astros will play the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park located in San Francisco, CA on Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 1:05 p.m. PST. This will be the third game in a three-game series. This is the sixth game between these two teams.

Season series:

Giants lead season series 4-1.

Standings:

Houston comes into the matchup with a 33-55 record and in sixth place in the National League Central. They are 9-34 when playing on the road and have won one of their last 10 games.

San Francisco comes enters the game with a 48-40 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 28-16 when playing at home and have won four of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

Houston: Bud Norris

2012 season: 5-6, 4.71 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 88 Ks

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 0-0, 2.57 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 10 Ks

San Francisco: Matt Cain

2012 season: 9-3, 2.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 118 Ks

Numbers vs. Astros in last five years: 1-2, 4.86 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 23 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In Houston: FS-H, KTRH 740, and KLAT 1010

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD, KNBR 680, and KTRB 860

Batting statistic leaders:

Houston: Jose Altuve - .298 batting average, Jed Lowrie - 14 home runs, J.D. Martinez - 49 runs batted in.

San Francisco: Melky Cabrera - .353 batting average, Buster Posey - 11 home runs, Melky Cabrera & Buster Posey - 45 runs batted in.

Next series on tap:

Following this series, the Astros will visit the San Diego Padres from July 16-19 and visit the Arizona Diamondbacks from July 20-22.

Meanwhile, the Giants' next two series will be on the road against the Atlanta Braves from July 17-19 and on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies from July 20-22.

Sources:

Perfect day for Cain would be another win vs. Astros, MLB.com

Astros-Giants Preview, AP

More from this contributor:

Fan's Preview: Should Giants' Tim Lincecum lose his rotation spot with a bad start against Astros?

Melky Cabrera Wins 2012 All-Star Game MVP, Giants Lead NL to Victory: Fan's Reaction

Home-Field Advantage Made Matt Cain All-Star Game Starter Over R.A. Dickey: Fan's Take

Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Melky Cabrera, and Pablo Sandoval Elected to 2012 All-Star Game: Fan's Reaction

Matt Cain Throws First Perfect Game in San Francisco Giants Franchise History: Fan's Reaction

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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