Rain washed out a lot of Cactus League games in Arizona today, including a Giants game in which Tim Lincecum was scheduled to start. The young San Francisco ace brings consecutive National League Cy Young awards into the 2010 season. He and Matt Cain make a fearsome duo to lead the pitching staff, and when I heard the word “rain” today I got to thinking about “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.”
I knew that famous aphorism went back to the days of the Milwaukee Braves, but I didn’t realize it actually goes back to the Boston Braves. There’s a nifty Wikipeedia entry about Spahn that attributes the phrase’s origin to the Boston Post. A writer composed a poem about the two pitchers inspired by their back-to-back wins followed by a couple of days of rain during the 1948 pennant race.
Lincecum and Cain will need to put a few more years on the mound before they fully deserve comparison to Spahn and Sain, and they’re both righties while Spahn (southpaw) and Sain (righty) were not. There have been other terrific duos on pitching staffs over the years, and in my lifetime it’s hard to top the left-right combo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If anyone has any suggestions on other such dominant pairs, I’d appreciate it if you’d weigh in with a comment.