Matthew Thomas Cain (born October 1, 1984), nicknamed The Horse, Big Daddy, and Big Sugar, is an American professional baseball starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). Cain is 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighs 235 pounds (107 kg). He bats and throws right-handed. Cain throws five pitches: a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup.
Cain was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft out of high school. He advanced quickly through the minor leagues and made his debut with the Giants in 2005, becoming the youngest player in the National League (NL) that year. In 2006 (his first full season), Cain won 13 games and finished tied for fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Cain had the 10th-best earned run average in the NL in 2007, but he finished second in the league with 16 losses due to poor run support. He lost 14 games in 2008, receiving the worst run support in the league.
In 2009, Cain was named an All-Star for the first time in his career; he won 14 games and had a winning record for the first time since 2006. Cain won 13 games in 2010, but he saved his best pitching for the playoffs. He did not allow an earned run any of the three playoff games he pitched in as the Giants won their first World Series since 1958. In 2011, Cain won 12 games and had a 2.88 ERA. Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in Major League Baseball history on June 13, 2012. He had a 16–5 record during the regular season, and he finished sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting. He started every series-clinching playoff game for the Giants as they won the 2012 World Series. Cain struggled with injuries in 2014 and had season-ending surgery before the All-Star break. He did not participate in the World Series as his team claimed its third championship in five years.
By Dean Hanley
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