SAN FRANCISCO — The beautiful thing about Matt Cain is there’s nothing vague about him, nothing obscure, nothing theoretical. Ask him a question, he gives you an answer. Approach him with something offbeat, and he has nothing to say. “Haven’t thought about it.” Give him a baseball, he pitches it directly — fastball, curveball, slider, change-up — until the manager takes the baseball away from him.
And if you give him a baseball in a World Series (San Francisco going mad, everybody watching, baseball history on every pitch!) he still pitches it directly — fastball, curveball, slider, change-up — until the manager takes the baseball away from him.
“Execute your pitches,” he says when asked the secret. Cain is having a postseason for the ages. He threw 7 2/3 shutout innings Thursday in the Giants first-tense-then-absurd 9-0 victory over Texas in Game 2 of the World Series. He threw seven shutout innings last time out against Philadelphia in the National League Championship Series. He threw 6 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run in the NLDS against Atlanta the time before that. That’s 21 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
What is the secret? Magic? Voodoo? Luck?
“Execute your pitches,” he says.