Matt Cain: Analyzing The Giants' NLCS Game 3 Starting Pitcher

Matt Cain will be taking the mound for the Giants in Game 3 of their NLCS showdown against the Phillies. To help get you ready, we offer the following scouting report.


6'3, 246
223.1 innings
3.14 ERA
7.1 K/9
2.5 BB/9

2010 Playoffs

6.2 innings, 1 runs, 2 walk, 6 strikeouts


Cain has a broad four-pitch arsenal of the four "conventional" weapons. Nearly two-thirds of the time, he'll come with a fastball in the 91-94mph range. He'll then mix in between a changeup - in the mid-80s, with a lot of sink - and a curveball - in the mid- to high-70s, with sharp break. His fourth pitch is a slider in the mid-80s that is his best weapon when it comes to getting a swing and miss. Cain is a fairly extreme flyball pitcher, and always has been.

Facing Righties

Cain isn't afraid to throw his change to righties, although he does throw it the least often of his four choices. He likes to stay away early, mixing in a good number of first-pitch breaking balls. When he falls behind, he'll lean heavier on his fastball over the outer half, though he will add some sliders for good measure. More secondary stuff comes out when he has room to work with. In strikeout counts, Cain likes to get hitters to chase breaking balls down and away, and he'll also feature the occasional low change to get a hitter to swing over the ball.

Facing Lefties

Left-handed hitters simply don't see Matt Cain's slider, as the changeup takes its place. Still, that doesn't necessarily make him predictable. He'll throw fastballs all over the zone early on, but he'll also throw in first-pitch low curves and low-outside changeups. Behind 1-0, he still leans very heavily on an outside change, screwing with the hitter's timing. It only gets trickier when he's ahead. He'll pound lefties up and in with his fastball, but he'll also drop a ton of changeups and curves down and away, going for swings and misses. His best whiff pitch is his change, with a contact rate of 74% on the year.

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