Guest post: Matt Cain deserves MLB All-Star starting pitching job

Last week my brother and I were discussing whether San Francisco Giant pitcher Matt Cain deserved the starting pitching job for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. Cain was in the discussion along with New York Met pitcher R.A. Dickey. Today, Tony LaRussa announced that he planned on starting Cain.

Before the announcement was named, my brother sent me an email with his argument as to why Cain deserved the start. Here’s what he had to say (I added facts in brackets [ ] for clarification):

The stat bug has bit him again this year. He pitched nine scoreless innings against Cliff Lee and the Phillies, where he didn’t pick up a win and was not given a complete game [the game went into extra innings]. Put that together with the blown save against the [Oakland] A’s the other day, and he would be one win behind Dickey [Cain has 9, Dickey has 12], be tied with Dickey for complete games [Cain has 2, Dickey has 3], and pass Dickey in shutouts as the league’s sole leader [both players have two shutouts].  The rest of his stats speak for themselves: second in the NL in WHIP (0.96), second in the NL in innings pitched, fourth in the NL in strikeouts (118). Cain has an outstanding ERA of 2.62, which is good enough for sixth in the NL and better than Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, Dickey, and Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, the other strikeout leaders.  I believe the stats point to Cain, Strasburg and Dickey as leading candidates for the starting job with Hamels, Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto and others on the outside looking in. Looking at just the stats, I have to believe that Cain should be the starting pitcher.  Looking beyond the stats (which I firmly believe is more important), I think Dickey and Strasburg are just phenom stories and not as worthy of the start as the two time All-Star and World Series Champion, Matt Cain.  Dickey is a knuckle baller no one has figured out, and Strasburg, who has nasty stuff, is pretty new to the league so he hasn’t been seen much.  Matt Cain has been doing this for years and he has the ring because of it.  You watch the second half of the season, and Cain will sustain his pitching while the others will see some decline.  And on the mound, he has a better head on his shoulders than the rest of the league as well.  Plus Matt Cain may have done
something pretty special back on June 13 [a perfect game for those of you who didn’t see SportsCenter].

Matt Cain!!  My pick as the starting pitcher for the National League,
at the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.

So congrats, bro! Matt Cain, your pick for the NL starting pitcher, will be starting the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.


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