Seriously…how’d we get from this to here?
Since the perfect game:
57.1 IP, 60 H, 29 R, 28 ER, 10 HR, 16 BB, 46 SO, 4.40 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Oh, that’s how.
Look, Cain hasn’t been terrible. He’s had three games out of nine where he allowed two earned runs or less. He has yet to allow more than five in a start, and has allowed four or more only three times in those nine starts. By comparison, Lincecum’s done that 13 times in 23 starts this season.
But Cain hasn’t been the same since the perfect game. That much seems for certain. It’s not that he’s tired. His velocity hasn’t been affected. He has tired out earlier, but that could be as much about August in hot cities as it is anything else. His control is definitely wonky (1.52 BB/9IP before and including the perfect game; 2.51 BB/9IP since). But mostly, he’s giving up hits and home runs. In his career, Cain has never given up more hits than innings pitched in a season. He’s not on pace to do it this year (125H vs. 152.1 IP so far), but the extended stretch doesn’t feel good. And in the last nine games, he’s given up more home runs than in all of 2011, and more than doubled his 2012 total.
I don’t know that Giants fans should be too worried. I mean, nine games is still a small sample size. But damn, I don’t feel as sure as I used to whenever Cain comes onto the mound.