Sometimes you just need to stand back and applaud a great performance. That's exactly what the Astros - and Astros fans - should be doing this morning. Matt Cain absolutely dominated the Astros in historic fashion, but he's been dominant for a long time, and it doesn't matter who the opponent is.
(For his completely underrated career, teams with a record over .500 have posted a .224/.300/.359 line against Cain (and the Astros still have the highest SLG against Cain among NL teams, amazingly enough). But because the Giants have had offensive struggles, Cain hasn't posted the win totals that would make him a hero on the East Coast.)
Yet, this post isn't about the East Coast bias, or even really about the Giants and Matt Cain. At this point I'm not exactly sure what it's about, but I'm pissed off about something.
Maybe it's Chip Bailey's "Call Oklahoma City!" post. Maybe it's Chris Jones (one of my favorite writers), or Buster Olney (or everybody else who thinks they're funny) saying "Hey, it's the Houston Astros."
Echoing what a lot of people have already said on Twitter, mocking the Astros in reference to last night's happenings disrespects Matt Cain.
This is baseball. These things happen. Getting no-hit happens. Getting Perfect-Gamed happens (though, obviously, not nearly as often). But if these instances were an indictment against a franchise, then the 2011 Astros would have been 0-162 and squeaked out 12 Michael Bourn bunt singles all season long.
So instead of jumping head first into a vat of poison, let's strive for a little consistency here. Don't say "Look how hard this team plays! So fun!" during a four-game win streak, and then when one of the best pitchers in the NL does something historic against the same team a week later call for heads to roll.
The Astros are a young team, on the front end of a rebuilding project. There's no need to diminish what Matt Cain did last night, or through his career. There's also no need to call for the Astros to abandon what the front office has been doing for the past six months, just so you don't get your feelings hurt when Buster Olney pops off on Mike & Mike.
Get a grip on yourselves. Congratulations, Matt Cain.