Matt Cain: Perfect Game for Giants Ace Showcases MLB's Offensive Problems

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 13:  Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at AT&T Park on June 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Houston Astros 10-0. Matt Cain struck out a career-high 14 batters, and pitched a perfect game in what was the first in Giants franchise history. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The MLB is in the midst of a pitching revolution, the likes of which we have never seen before. But within this revolution, there is a glaring problem that shows no signs of going away. 

After San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain recorded the final out of his perfect game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, the first thought that went through my mind was that he did it against the Astros. 

Really, when you look throughout Major League Baseball, you would not be surprised to see a no-hitter or perfect game on any given night because of some of the lineups that teams are running out there. 

Runs per game are up this year (4.30) compared to last year (4.28) by a narrow margin, though 2011 was the worst offensive year in baseball since 1992, per Baseball Reference

Quite frankly, Houston's starting lineup is in danger of getting no-hit every single night. Only Jose Altuve and Jed Lowrie are worthy of being big-league starters.  

In no way am I dismissing pitching; we are seeing better arms than we ever have before. Teams are drafting young, hard throwers now more than ever before, and they are being developed in ways that help them last. 

From an offensive standpoint, however, the state of the game is cause for concern. Cain's performance against the Astros was just the tip of the iceberg. 

Including the perfect game on Wednesday night, there have been five no-hitters in Major League Baseball this season.

We are 62 games into the season with five no-hitters.

The teams on the losing side of these feats are the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners. Aside from the Cardinals and maybe the Dodgers, none of those teams are going to finish in the top half of runs scored in baseball this season. 

As great as starting pitching has been this season—and really, over the last three years—it is important to remember that there are a lot of poor offensive teams contributing to all of these historical feats. 

Even Cain's perfect game came on a night when Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey just missed a no-no against the Tampa Bay Rays (the one hit he gave up could have been ruled an error). 

Great pitching performances, while deserving of praise, also need to be put in context. No-hitters and perfect games are just not what they used to be.