Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Closer: Cain is able
By ESPN Stats & Info
Matt Cain has suffered from a lack of run support in his career. Friday he decided to take matters into his own hands. After allowing a double to Mark Reynolds with 2 outs in the 2nd inning, Cain was untouchable - finishing with a 1-hit shutout. Cain did not allow a walk while striking out 9. Do you know who the last pitcher to throw a shutout allowing 1 hit or fewer with at least 9 K and no walks before Cain?
It was also a Giants pitcher - Jonathan Sanchez, who threw a no-hitter with 11 K and 0 BB against the Padres on July 10, 2009.
The last time the Diamondbacks were held to 1 hit or fewer was also against the Giants -- April 19, 2009 when Randy Johnson (1 H), Bob Howry and Brian Wilson (0 H each) combined to allow 1 hit.
Matt Cain is nothing new to 1-hitters, he actually threw one May 21, 2006 against the Athletics in his 2nd season as a big leaguer. According to the Elias Sports Bureau the only other Giant to have two one-hit shutouts in the last 30 years is Jason Schmidt.
Why Matt Cain threw a one-hitter:
- Of 41 fastballs swung at, hitters didn't miss many (eight) but only put 12 in play (29 percent; MLB avg is 44); the result was 0-18 with 6 of Cain's 9 strikeouts
- Groundball percentage of 47.4 was third-highest of the season
- With two strikes, hitters chased 46 percent of pitches out of the strike zone (MLB avg is 36), resulting in no hits in 18 two-strike at-bats
- The one hit he gave up was on a slider, a pitch he hadn't thrown once in his previous two starts
Why Cliff Lee won:
- Threw 11 curveballs (had only thrown 21 entering Friday). Both curves swung on were missed
- Batters were 1-for-5 against off speed pitches (.300 entering Friday)
- 95 percent of two-strike at-bats became outs
Why Yovani Gallardo recorded his first career shutout:
- Solid fastball: threw season-high 71 percent of fastballs for strikes, hitters went 3-19 and are now batting .170 over his past seven starts (.347 before)
- All seven strikeouts came via fastball (ties season-high), including five looking
- Froze Mets with runners in scoring position: hitters swung just 24 percent of the time and put just four balls in play (1-7)
- Hitters were 0-10 against pitches inside
Why Phil Hughes won:
- Retired 94 percent of batters with two strikes
- Hitters were 1-for-8 against the curveball (.240 entering Friday)
- Hitters missed on 50 percent of the curveballs they swung on (MLB average: 26 percent)
Why Chris Carpenter won:
- Hitters were 1-for-7 against his curveball. Opponents are now 5-for-83 (.060) against his curveball this season
- Threw a first pitch strike to 74 percent of batters (83 percent with the curveball)
- Hitters were 1-for-8 on pitches in the outer third of the plate