It seems like it was only yesterday Matt Cain threw one of the most memorable outings in San Francisco Giants history; a 14-strikeout perfect game against the Houston Astros. In reality, that was back on June 13, 2012 when Cain was in the midst of his career-best season, with a 16-5 record, 2.79 ERA, and 193 strikeouts en route to finishing sixth in NL Cy Young voting.
Fast forward to 2017, and Cain is ready to call it a career. The longtime Giants hurler announced Wednesday that he will be retiring from Major League Baseball following the conclusion of the regular season this weekend. The news was first broken by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle on Twitter:
Matt CAin announces plan to retire.
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 27, 2017
Matt Cain Retiring from Major League Baseball
Cain will make his final start on Saturday at AT&T Park against the San Diego Padres, leaving to what surely will be a rousing ovation. A fan favorite in the Bay Area, Cain spent the entirety of his 13-year MLB career with the Giants after the club selected him 25th overall in the first round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Debuting in 2005 at 20 years of age, Cain became a mainstay in the Giants rotation. As an integral member of all three of San Francisco’s World Series Championship teams in 2010, 2012, and 2014, Cain will walk away from the game with three World Series rings and three All-Star selections to his name. His career regular season numbers include a 104-118 record, 3.69 ERA, and 1.23 WHIP to go along with 1,690 strikeouts in 2,080.2 innings pitched. It was rising to the occasion in the postseason, however, where Cain endeared himself to the Giants faithful with a career 2.10 postseason ERA and 1.84 World Series ERA.
Recent years have not been nearly as kind to Cain, who amassed a 9-23 record with an ERA over five in each of his last three seasons. Cain will celebrate his 33rd birthday this coming Sunday, and while that age isn’t usually considered to be the end of the line for a Major League pitcher, the warning signs have been growing in evidence that his days in the Giants rotation were numbered.
After sputtering to a disastrous 62-97 record with three games left to play this season, Manager Bruce Bochy will be looking for a resurrection in 2018. Ultimately, the time was right for both the player and club to move on with the Giants looking to give prospects within the organization a chance to crack the big league roster. Cain didn’t appear to be in the plans moving forward, but his presence in the clubhouse, professionalism, and character will be sorely missed nonetheless.
The Giants projected starting rotation for next season currently features Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Moore, and Johnny Cueto who has hinted that he will be opting in to his player option. Barring any off-season additions, the fifth spot in the rotation opened up by Cain’s departure will likely be competed for in spring training by Ty Blach, Chris Stratton, and Tyler Beede.
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