Every Giant pulls for Matt Cain, who emerged with no decision but at least was spared another luckless defeat by Molina's homer. This was the 17th game since the beginning of last season in which the Giants scored no more than one run for Cain while he was on the mound. As is often the case, Cain pitched well enough to win, surrendering one run and five hits in seven innings. (Chris Haft article, emphasis mine)
Mr. Hard Luck had the story already written for him: Giant-killer Greg Maddux, an inept offense, and history to the 17th power. But thanks to Señor Clutch and a big, big jack in the 9th off Hoffman, Matt Cain was spared another "L." Sure, M.C. spent his post-game party time sucking brews and getting "N.D." tatooed on his chest, but damnit, 0-2 is way better than 0-3. Just ask Da Beezy.
I thought Matt looked wild--he seemed to miss a lot and by a lot. Three walks, 27 batters and 98 pitches was in stark contrast to the Master's zero, 25 and 75 in the same 7-inning span. But Matt looked real strong in the last two innings, getting guys to put balls in play rather than trying to fool them or blow them away. The Puds have almost as lousy an offense as ours, and they chased pitches out of the zone--that helped, too. The RBI hit by Giles in the 5th was off a fat ugly thing up around his eyes that he slashed at and just missed Eugenio Velez with. A DP right there would have been "just what the doctor ordered" but it didn't happen, and I despaired that the game was a done deal at that point. But the fat lady was still in the dressing room and El Gamerino Gordito saved the day with the last-gasp homer. At that point I was happy, and probably failed to appreciate the rest of the game's highlights: studly relief, clutch hits, and youthful verve and speed. Watching Burris streak around the bases was beautiful. The new fella, Captain Gomer, sorry, Gamer, seems to have found his stroke. Can't complain about 3 hits and an insurance run that proved decisive.