By the second inning of Thursday night’s game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, the concerned, panicked and, let’s face it, angry tweets about right-hander Matt Cain started flowing in consistently. Cain allowed three home runs early in what ended up as a victory in Coors Field, as Todd Helton, Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario each took him deep. But still, I’m neither concerned, panicked nor angry, despite the fact Cain leads the big leagues in home runs permitted with 13.
It’s dangerous to make major decisions from start to start with reliable pitchers who were perhaps originally drafted as a team’s ace. Yes, Cain had some hiccups in April, posting a 6.49 ERA and serving up nine home runs in six winless starts, though his reasonable 1.29 WHIP and strong strikeout rate alleviated worry for me. In two May outings before Thursday, Cain righted the ship, so to speak, winning twice and permitting eight hits and one long ball in 15 1/3 innings. So we weren’t particularly worried entering Thursday, but an outing at Coors Field changes that again? Fantasy can be a roller coaster, but outings in Denver should be considered part of a different ride.