With the sun shining so brightly upon the Giants these days, it's hard to notice that little dark cloud hanging over Matt Cain.
Simply, he hasn't been the same dominating pitcher since his perfect game against the Houston Astros on June 13.
The 10-0 victory that night gave Cain an 8-2 record and 2.18 ERA in 13 starts this season. Batters averaged .192 against the right-hander, who allowed only 23 earned runs and seven home runs with 96 strikeouts and 16 walks.
After his perfect game, Cain's hat and cleats were placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and San Francisco awarded him the key to the city and proclaimed that June 13 every year is Matt Cain Day.
But since June 13, Cain has looked looked human, beatable.
In 14 starts since his perfect game, Cain is 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA and opponents' batting average of .258. He has allowed 39 earned runs and 13 home runs with 74 strikeouts and 22 walks.
Cain started the Giants' 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, having enjoyed much success at Wrigley Field. In his previous starts there, he was 4-0 with an 0.79 ERA. He had thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings there before giving up five earned runs in five innings.
He was fortunate to leave Chicago with a no-decision.
Cain's next start is Saturday, the second of a three-game series against the Dodgers. If he doesn't rediscover his early-season form, that small cloud could lead to rain.
What to watch
Baseball, A's vs. Angels, 7:05 p.m., CSNCA: Oakland looks to even the three-game series after Monday's loss snapped a nine-game winning streak.
Which games are you most looking forward to this week?
49ers at Packers
Raiders vs. Chargers
River Cats playoffs
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Which team has been the most fun to watch this season?
Total votes: 170
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Read more articles by Victor Contreras
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