Matt Cain knows the day.
He knows the exact day when the Giants' dynasty started and he explained why in a letter posted to The Players' Tribune on Monday.
That date? May 6, 2007.
What's so special about a date three years before the Giants won the first of three World Series titles?
That's the day Tim Lincecum made his major league debut. For Cain, that's the day the Giants began their climb to the top of the baseball mountain.
"I guess that might seem strange to include here, in a letter about my career, but to me that day really meant something — and looking back, really has come to represent a lot. Because I think that was the day this era of Giants baseball went from being about a team in transition, that was losing a lot … to a team in transition, that was building something special."
Lincecum didn;t pitch particularly well in that game against the Phillies. In 4.1 innings, He allowed five hits, five earned runs and struck out five. But for Cain, Lincecum just being there meant something.
Now, that era of Giants baseball is over. Lincecum is out of baseball and nowhere to be found, apparently. Cain retired over the weekend after pitching five shutout innings on Saturday. And the Giants, a playoff team a year ago, finished tied with the Tigers for the worst record in baseball.
Back on Sept. 20, executive vice president Brian Sabean addressed the state of the Giants moving forward.
"...We still believe in our core players. But we have to put a fresh look on things. Whatever culture we created, whatever atmosphere, that window is closed," Sabean told The San Francisco Chronicle.