SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Matt Cain is among the leading candidates to start the July 10 All-Star Game in Kansas City, the Giants right-hander handled the subject cautiously.
"You have to be on the team first," Cain said.
It's virtually certain that Cain will be chosen as a National League All-Star. He entered Wednesday ranked among the league's statistical leaders in almost every major pitching category, including ERA (seventh, 2.27), innings (second, 107), strikeouts (third, 107), opponents' batting average (fourth, .195), wins (tied for fifth, nine) and WHIP (walks and hits per inning -- first, 0.90).
And, of course, Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in Major League history against the Houston Astros on June 13.
He acknowledged that starting the All-Star Game would be an honor. "I think that would be cool for anybody," said Cain, who was selected for but did not appear in the 2009 and 2011 Midsummer Classics. "That's something you always hope you have the opportunity to do."
Significantly, Cain will have four days' rest on the day of the All-Star Game if the Giants remain in their current rotation through the end of the first half, so he would be eligible and fit to perform.
Tim Lincecum was the last Giants pitcher to start an All-Star Game, receiving the assignment in 2009 at St. Louis.