October 29, 2010
What you also need to do is Fear the 'Fro, because San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain(notes) is still the only starter who hasn't allowed an earned run this postseason after shutting down the Texas Rangers in the Giants' 9-0 win in Thursday's Game 2 of the World Series.
Yeah, it's a bit unfair to compare him to Lee and Lincecum, who have both made four starts this October to Cain's three. All of his starts have also come in spacious AT&T Park and he did have the luck of physics on his side with Ian Kinsler's(notes) fifth-inning double that was centimeters from being a lead-giving home run.
But why should Cain and the Giants fans who screamed his name in the bowels of the ballpark after the game care? He dominated the Rangers for 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and two walks while earning a beautiful playoff bookend for his controlled Game 3 triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS.
The victory also puts the Giants in a good spot to make sure Cain's ERA stays at 0.00 by winning two of the next three games in Texas and ending the series before his next turn comes back here in San Francisco for Game 6.
If that were to happen, his final 2010 postseason record would look like this: 21 1/3 innings, 13 hits, seven walks, 13 strikeouts.
For the past three seasons, Cain has played the quiet role of a big sidekick to Tim Lincecum as his made-for-media teammate has piled up strikeouts and postseason pitching awards.
Lincecum is deserving of that praise, though not at the cost of the shadow cast on the consistent Cain. This postseason performance should change how the 26-year-old is perceived, though, and one reporter (not me) quickly went to work on figuring out a headline-friendly nickname for Cain.
"Gosh, I don't know. No answer. I've got to think on that one a little bit. I don't want to say something I shouldn't say."
What about you, Cain? Anything sound catchy to you?
"I don't know. We don't nickname ourselves. I wouldn't have any idea."
I'm open to any suggestions, but Triple Zero should work for now.
World Champ might work next week.