It seems that this kid has turned the corner. He may just be teasing us, but he has been brilliant since the ASB, though it is a small sample size.
I live on the East Coast and have been lucky enough to see both of Cain's last two starts. My buddy has the MLB cable package so I went over to catch Verlander-Haren and Cain-Peavy, two match-ups that looked to be potential pitchers duels. Well, Cain has been keeping his ball down his past two starts. The control has been slightly better, but when he misses, it has been down. Against the Phillies, he had great stuff and pretty much dominated. He walked 4 in 6 innings, which is too high a number, but everything else was great.
Tonite, he was fantastic. His curve wasn't as sharp tonite, but he threw his change more often and it was successful. He didn't K a ton of guys, but he actually pitched. He let guys put it in play and let his defense make the plays. Through 8 innings, he had given up 5 hits and K'd 5, but most impressive was his 1 walk. He was around the plate and stayed at the knees. Unfortunately, he had 108 pitches after 8, but Alou kept him in. Got two quick outs, clearly labored through Gonzalez' AB, which ended in a double, and then labored through his AB with Greene, which ended with Cain leaving his 114th pitch right over the middle at the belt (97 MPH fastball!) that Greene crushed over the LF fence. Alou should have taken Cain out after 8 because of his pitch count, but I guess he wanted to let his young ace go for his second CG-SO of the year.
A couple of the hits gave up were jokes. Two balls hit to left that Bonds should have caught and an infield single by Roberts. Cain didn't give up a hard hit ball (including outs) until the 8th inning.
I came away VERY, VERY impressed with Cain. Though I wouldn't go adding him in fantasy leagues, I'd keep an eye on his next couple of starts. He really looks much better than he did earlier in the season and may be returning to his late-2005 form. If he is available in keeper leagues, add him immediately. He should be a true ace in the near future.