For the second time this season, Matt Cain has helped establish a Giants franchise first.
Last month, Cain became the first pitcher in Giants history to throw a perfect game.
On Tuesday in Kansas City, he will become seventh Giants pitcher to start the All-Star Game for the National League.
Cain’s selection as the NL starter by manager Tony LaRussa gives the Giants four All-Star starters for the first time in franchise history.
In short, if you’re a Giants fan, be sure to tune into the All-Star Game early.
Cain is joined on the starting lineup by catcher Buster Posey, third baseman Pablo Sandoval and outfielder Melky Cabrera, all voted starters in fan voting.
This is Cain’s third All-Star selection, but it will be the first time he’ll actually get to pitch in the game. Cain was not used in 2009 by manager Charlie Manuel, and last season he pitched the Sunday before the All-Star Game, making him ineligible to pitch in the midsummer’s classic.
Let’s hope Cain has better success than other recent Giants pitchers have fared as All-Star Game starters. In their first three All-Star starts, Giants pitchers (Carl Hubbell and Juan Marichal twice) did not allow a run, giving up a combined four hits in nine innings. Marichal was the All-Star MVP in 1965.
But since then, three of the last four Giants All-Star starters were tagged for at least two runs, although none of them ending up as the losing pitcher.
Here’s a look at how Giants have fare as the NL starting pitcher:
- 1934, Carl Hubbell 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
- 1965, Juan Marichal, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R
- 1967, Juan Marichal, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K
- 1978, Vida Blue, 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- 1989, Rick Reuschel, 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER
- 2003, Jason Schmidt, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K
- 2009, Tim Lincecum, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 K