Matthew Thomas Cain (born October 1 1984 in Dothan, Alabama) is a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He is 6' 3" tall and weighs 235 lbs. Cain graduated from Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee, and was selected by the Giants in the 1st round (25th overall) in the 2002 MLB amateur entry draft.
Prior to the 2005 season, Cain was named the Giants' #1 prospect by Baseball America. He has a fastball, curve, slider and change-up. His fastball is thrown between 93-95 mph. Later that year, Cain made his Major League debut at the age of 20 against the Colorado Rockies, losing the game despite giving up only three hits and two runs in five innings. Following his debut, Cain became a part of the team's regular five-man starting rotation, finding immediate success. He earned his first Major League win on September 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and notched his first complete game, a two-hitter, against the Chicago Cubs on September 9. Cain finished his first Major League season with 7 starts over 46.1 innings in which he posted a 2-1 record, 30 strikeouts, 2.33 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and a minuscule .151 batting average against.
Cain's 2005 performance was impressive enough that manager Felipe Alou named him to the team's 2006 starting rotation before Spring training began. Cain began the season as the team's fourth starter.
When he was called up, Cain was the second youngest player in the Major Leagues, behind the 19-year old Félix Hernández, a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.
In 2006, Cain struggled with inconsistency, but showed signs of dominance in several starts, flirting with a no-hitter on more than one occasion. On April 24, 2006, Cain pitched six innings without allowing a base runner against the New York Mets, one of the league's most prolific offenses. On May 21, Cain pitched his first major league complete game shutout, a one-hitter vs. the Oakland Athletics. On June 19 of the same season, Cain pitched 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before finally surrendering a single to Chone Figgins in the 8th inning.
As of September 14, 2006, Cain has increased his chances for Rookie of the Year consideration with a run of remarkable pitching. Since August 12, 2006, Cain has recorded a 5-0 record with an almost unheard-of ERA of 0.21. During this streak, he has allowed just one earned run in his last 42 innings — and has not allowed an earned run in 30 2/3 innings. He lead all National League rookie pitchers with 13 wins and 179 strikeouts in 2006.
His 2006 record was 13-12, with a 4.15 ERA. He recorded 179 strikeouts and allowed 18 home runs.
He has started the 2007 season off well with a 1.55 ERA with 11 hits in 29.0 innings pitched (as of April 23). So far his accomplishments included a dynamic performance on April 22, in which he pitched a complete game allowing only one run (in the ninth) and just three hits. It was his third complete game in the second season of his career. Despite several above-average performances, Cain's record as of July 4 is 3-9, in many cases because of failed run-support from the Giant's line-up.
- Selected by San Francisco Giants in the 1st round (25th pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 4, 2002 - signed June 26, 2002).
- As of 2005, ESPN analyst, Chris Berman, came up with the nickname "Cain is Able".
- Giants fans also call Cain "Citizen Cain", "Candy Cain", "Sir Cain" and "Cainer".