Matt Cain flirted with history this warm and sunny afternoon, finally running out of gas in the 7th inning. According to the story on the team website, this is the fourth time Cain has taken a no-hitter into the 7th inning. He threw a few too many pitches early, then settled in and dominated a hot Cardinal team, then got a bad break, couldn't close it out, and had to sit after 95 pitches. In all, our boy M.C. was studly, getting back in the groove we've come to expect from him. Did I neglect to mention his homerun that broke the 0-0 tie? Like I said, Matt Cain was studly. Speaking of studly, a fellow we have all had our eyes on, John Bowker, made his Major League debut. Called up from AAA-Fresno, Bowker dazzled the home crowd with a first-AB basehit in the 2nd and a 3-run homer in the 6th that looked like it might break the game open (5-0 at the time). But the bullpen--Tyler Walker and Brad Hennessey--gave it away. Yet ANOTHER wasted effort for the Hurra-Cain! Bowker posted an .886 OPS at AA-Connecticut in 2007, which is as good as it gets offensively for ANY Giants prospect. Why we've called up two guys other than Nate Schierholz I can't say, but I won't argue with the results. Bowker is a Californian--Sacramento and Long Beach State, he was the 100th pick in the 3rd round of the 2004 amateur draft. Let's hope his success continues. Eddy Martinez-Esteve was ahead of him in the 2nd round and Clay Timpner behind him in the 4th round of that same draft. I'm not upset about the bullpen meltdown, after all, I expect young pitchers to screw up. You have to love Fred Lewis: a walk and 3 hits including tying the game in the 9th! Despite the loss and the ND for Matt, there were lots of things to get excited about today.
Have you noticed that since Tim Lincecum "set the bar" on Tuesday vs. the Padres we've gotten good starts from the entire rotation? Even Zito--victimized by poor fielding--looked improved.
Also: check out the April 11th article at The Hardball Times ("A bridge too far") for a look at Barry Zito's mechanics and some hypothesizing about his recent struggles by a guy named Paul Nyman.