SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 13: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park on April 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Matt Cain struck out 11 Pirates and missed a perfect game only because of James McDonald's base hit in the sixth, and the Pirates lost to the Giants 5-0. I sure hope Cain gets some grief in the clubhouse for losing his perfect game to a pitcher, because that particular bit of schadenfreude is the only pleasure any of us are going to get out of this one. I mean, what can you say, really? Casey McGehee hit a ball hard? Andrew McCutchen was nearly safe at first after he dribbled a ball back to the pitcher? I'm at a loss.
So ... let's see. It's seven games into the season. If my math is right, the Pirates have struck out 58 times and walked eight times. They've scored 11 runs. They've been two-hit, on Opening Day, and now one-hit, on someone else's Opening Day. Pedro Alvarez is now (again, if my math is correct) 1-for-16 (with a homer) with 10 strikeouts. Neil Walker is 1-for-21. Rod Barajas is 1-for-17. Clint Barmes is 2-for-19. (And for those of us who've taken respite in the pitching, McDonald didn't look particularly good today either.) Of course there's going to be some regression (progression?) to the mean and all that, but if you're a hardcore fan and you can watch all this without flinching, you should probably quit your job and join a monastery or something.
How the Pirates have never been no-hit during this streak (not these last seven games, obviously, but the last decade-plus) is thoroughly beyond me. On Twitter earlier this evening, I compared it to passing a kidney stone. Maybe they just need to take the no-hitter and put it behind them. Then the runs can flow freely. Until then, all of us have to share the pain.