This year has gone from just an interesting outlier in his ability at suppressing home runs on fly balls to something that is downright unreal.
Cain has shown in his career that he can do this consistently and has been below the league average in his home run rate for every one of his 6.5 big league seasons. This year, however, he is doing something that no over starting pitcher (min 100 innings) has done since Fangraphs started keeping track of this statistic in 2002.
This year in 221.2 innings Matt Cain has allowed just 3.7 percent of his fly balls to leave the park.
That is simply amazing.
What’s even more amazing is that it’s not just a product of pitching at AT&T Park either — in 109 innings away from home he has allowed essentially the same percentage of home runs per fly ball that he has at home (3.6% at home vs. 3.7% on the road).
This season Cain has done an amazing job of keeping the ball in the park and it’s a shame that the Giants’ offense couldn’t have done more to back him up.
Another interesting and somewhat related article also came out on Matt Cain this morning over at Fangraphs on his ability to turn balls in play into outs at a higher rate than most other starting pitchers. I highly recommend reading it: Matt Cain, Destroyer of DIPS