The Phillies Can Hit? Matt Cain Says No Problem
Between Matt Cain’s manhandling of a potent Phillies lineup and Cody Ross continuing to prove that he’s better than Jose Guillen, this has suddenly turned into a favorable series for the Giants. Mitch Williams, Eric Karros, and just about every pundit on the planet seemed convinced that the Giants would be another doormat for the Phillies to steamroll en route to a third consecutive National League Pennant. Matt Cain disagrees.
Before I continue though, I think it’s only appropriate to have a “Best Headline Pun Using Matt Cain’s Last Name” Contest. As much as you may think I’m making these up, I assure you that the following are real, actual headlines written by real, actual sportswriters (Click the headline to see the proof):
ESPN: In Complete Cain-trol (Yes, I assure you this is real)
Sports Illustrated: Cain is Able (Probably the most used headline pertaining to Matt Cain)
Sporting News: Cain Clamps Down on Phillies (Wins the “Most Graphic Description of Violence” Award)
MLB.com (Again.): Phils hit by HurriCain as Giants storm to 2-1 lead (Points for originality. Loss of points for comparing Matt Cain to a natural disaster)
ESPN (Also again): Cain off the Chain (Thank God they changed this one later to something way cleverer like”Cain-trol”)
CBS Sports: Cain’t be stopped (I for one Cain’t believe these people are paid writers)
Why sportswriters feel obligated to use Matt Cain’s name as a play on words every time he does something of note is beyond me. On the other hand, it makes for some great comedy. I’m looking forward to Cain’s next start just to see what the mainstream media can cook up next. I’ll give money to the first major sports news outlet that uses “Cain’t stop believin’.
All wordplay aside, those of you who missed today’s game due to Fox’s decision to have a Tuesday playoff game begin at 1pm, know that you missed probably the least torturous game the Giants have been a part of since July. Cole Hamels, fresh off of shutting out the best offense in the National League, came up against the unstoppable force that has been Cody Ross’ postseason. After his RBI single that plated Edgar Renteria, that would be all Cain needed to stomp all over the hopes and dreams of the Phillies in Game 3. After this game, it’s safe to say that we need to erect statues of Cody Ross next to the monuments of Brooks Conrad placed strategically around the city.
Tomorrow of course brings a whole new set of problems not named Roys Halladay and Oswalt, or Cole Hamels. Our biggest obstacle is the man who wasn’t even a part of the exclusive H20 club. No sir. He tried to get into the super-secret H20 clubhouse and was told that he wasn’t allowed on account of…well, not being good at the game of baseball. Naturally, such a reality is the one reason why Joe Blanton will completely shut down the Giants offense. Sure, the guy had a 1.42 WHIP and .291 BAA in the regular season and hasn’t started since September 29th. But the Giants hitters have a special talent for making the scrubbiest scrubs out there look like Roy Halladay pitching against a lineup composed entirely of malnourished orphan children.
For now, it’s completely appropriate to soak up the victory that was Matt Cain’s shining glory today. But if Game 2 in Philadelphia taught us anything, it’s that greedy Giants fans with high expectations are the ones whose hopes get crushed into tiny bits until Matt Cain and Cody Ross can reassemble the aforementioned shattered hopes into more false promises and World Series aspirations. So in conclusion, hope for the best, assume the worst, and don’t be surprised by either outcome. For the most part, that should be business as usual for the common Giants fan.