Remember 1984? I don’t remember much about it. Ronald Reagan crushed Mondale and got re-elected. Mondale won his home state of Minnesota, and Washington, D.C.; and Reagan won everything else. Apple introduced Macintosh to the world. Michael Jackson caught on fire filming a Pepsi commercial. But what’s REALLY important is that on June 15th of that year, in Bellevue, Washington, little Timmy Lincecum entered the world. And later that year, on October 1st, in Dothan, Alabama, little Matty Cain was born. Yes, it was a very good year, indeed. Uh….other than that Reagan thing. Feel free to make your own Orwell analogy about that. (grin)
Lincecum/Cain. The foundation upon which 2010 was built. At times, we just called them Lincecain. And we need that again in 2012, in October, especially. Lincecum looked better last night, and has made some incremental progress to looking like his ol’ self. Cain has had a very fine season, overall, highlighted by a perfect game and being the starting and winning pitcher in the All-Star game, of course. Currently, he is 14-5, with a 2.93 ERA. Outstanding numbers, but is probably a longshot to win the Cy Young because of Dickey having a terrific season, too, and is a sentimental favorite of the media.
Lincecum, two Cy Youngs and a World Series ring; Cain, a perfect game, and a World Series ring. Huge accomplishments already in their relatively young careers. Cain is signed to a contract until 2017, and Lincecum has another year left on his contract, but has a less certain future with the Giants. He has been wildly inconsistent this season, with an emphasis on the “wild.” Cainer hasn’t been as sharp lately as he was earlier, but that is fairly normal for starting pitchers in the “dog days” part of the season. With the playoffs tantalizingly close, the expectation is that both Cain and Lincecum will raise their game. We need that if the Giants are to go deep into the playoffs. Bumgarner, Zito, and Vogelsong have all made major contributions to this season; but, ideally, Lincecum and Cain will be the dynamic duo leading the way in the starting rotation.
Cain has overtaken Lincecum as the ace of the staff. Tonight Cain will take the mound at AT&T, as he will in Game 1 of the divisional round of the playoffs, and that is a very comforting feeling for Giants fans. He’s The Horse, but he’s also a solid rock out there, stoic and calm, and ready to lead this team forward in his own quiet way. Cain, at age 27, is the longest serving current member of the team. He’s the guy who set the tone for the great team chemistry of this team over the last several years by not complaining about his historic lack of run-support, never throwing the Giants’ hitters under the bus. Cain wore those 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 losses with dignity and class, and has well-earned the respect he has from his team and the fans.
Here’s to you, Cainer. And Timmy, too. Little did we know back in 1984 the good news that was arriving.