Sunday, August 10, 2008

7 6 4 4 4 4

126 pitches! 33 batters faced! Only 5 groundouts.
Four bloody fookin' walks.

I'm happy for Matt Cain. His coaches have a lot of confidence in him. They know he's big and strong and healthy as a horse. MC gets the ball every 5th day and throws it until he's all tuckered out. I imagine if I were a big-league pitcher, I'd want to be out there every inning I could. Seems like it would be more fun that way. Win, lose, pitch poorly, pitch well, it is better to be pitching than not, I reckon. So, I figure Young Mr. Cain is a happy fellow.

The Giants have no hitting. Thus, they have no pinch-hitting. So, sending your pitcher up to lead off an inning is probably equal to sending up Jose Castillo or Eugenio Velez. (Fred was on the bench.) So MC goes 6 IP--very stressful IP, I might add--and 100 pitches and we are winning at home. So, we love our young "gamer" and want to "toughen him up" for life in the NL so we send him out to go through the meat of their lineup for the 4th time.

And it almost worked. Manny Ramirez is one of the best hitters in the game. Giving up the big hit to him has happened to a generation of pitchers. I'm not sure we had anyone in the 'pen that would match up better in that situation, even taking into consideration the high pitch count. But a double and a walk with one out showed us MC didn't have much left. It was a high-wire act at that point. It almost worked. Kent gagged, hacking at the 1st pitch. Like I said it almost worked. If we were actually a good team, we would have had a hot, tough, fresh right-hander to go after Ramirez. But we have Yabu. And a bunch of lefties. So, I can see why you'd stick with your stud.

I know I've hollered a lot at Bochy for pushing extra innings with Cain and Lincecum when they've hit 100 pitches, but I don't have a particular issue with that. Sometimes you have to ask your guy to do more, to push the envelope. Dodger game at home, they're fighting for 1st place, OK, I say, go for it. Attack with your best guy. The problem is that Bonehead has been overworking our boy when he should have been saving him. He's had lots of easy decisions. Today's was tougher. Ultimately, Matt Cain is going to have to get guys out with fewer pitches. That way when he's in the 7th against a tough lineup he's got a little more in the tank.

We only score 3.8 runs per game. We need help to beat people. The smog-sucking chokers handed us the tying run here in the 9th. Beautiful. I'm happy--Matt's off the hook for the loss. You have to love our game-winning plan: pinch-hit Omar for a youngster with a least a chance to get an RBI, and then follow him up with Mr. OBP Jose Castillo. Good thing Burriss is fast. And here I am talking smack about Eugenio, and he gets the game-winner!



LJJR said...

I, like most, feel for Matt Cain and his plight regarding a lack of run support dating back to last year.  It would be disheartening for any pitcher.  This just shows Cains fortitude.   Today, he pitched a career 126 pitches, 81 strikes, and 45 balls, and walk away with only a no decision.  Would you rather have had Walker come in. Thought not. However, I am pleased that at least for the timing being Giants kept the Dodgers out of first place in the division.  I hope Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and all the other Giants strive to continue to be Dodger spoilers. 

Brother Bob said...

You gotta feel for the big guy. He pitched almost well enough to win, he just couldn't get out Manny.
Too bad we don't care about wins this year, because the last 2 games had awesome endings.
Winn's value must be way up today, if he's still going to be a trading chip.