108 pitches, 73 strikes, 26 batters faced, 4 groundouts, 9 flyouts.
This was a game where the Giants fielders helped out MC big-time. Even Errant Throwin' got in on the act! Matt struggled but kept the lid on. He gets the True Grit Award for today. Too bad he had to go up against Lowe, a very tough pitcher. Of course, our pathetic offense makes 'em all look tough. (For the record, Lowe's FIP is 3.29, 9th in baseball, just ahead of Brandon Webb.)
I'm still reeling from the thoughtful and intelligent move by Bonehead to lift MC after six shutout innings! Hinshaw was studly in relief, keeping it deadlocked. I fully expected Cain to start the 7th and get yanked when he got up to 120+ pitches, two guys on base, and an unearned run already in. But Bonehead DID THE RIGHT THING and sat our boy down after a stressful afternoon. Although my haphazard foray into statistical analysis revealed that Matt is a good pitcher, in the upper echelon of starters, he can still improve. Walks are his Achilles' Heel, of course. But ground ball outs are the big indicator for me. With his high fastball he has to keep his other pitches down. If he is not going to get the swing-throughs on his fastball or change, he has to get them to beat it into the ground more frequently. (Note to MC: watch Maddux pitch.) Regardless, I'm really happy that he's come back strong in two starts after that bad stretch of three ugly ones. I'm still worried about the workload, but that is someting to fret about in the off-season. No career "W" vs. LA yet, but he'll get another shot at home (Friday?). The LAtriners will likely have clinched by then, maybe it will be a lineup of scrubs and call-ups. Kick some ass, Matt, and get your 9th win. If anyone needs a lesson on the silliness of assigning "wins" to pitchers, note that Barry "Da Beezy" Zito has TEN this season. Does anyone really believe he's a better pitcher than Cain?
How about ROMO?? Wow, three big outs on 11 pitches in the 8th!! The whiff of ManRam was serious studliness!! Then another three outs on 10 pitches in the 9th!! Then another three outs on 12 pitches in the 10th!! Have we found a REAL relief pitcher?? God, I hope so. Our bullpen has been hideous. The lowest 'pen moment of the season I think was Special Agent Jack's three consecutive walks last night to effectively end the game. There ain't no alibi for that kind of U-G-L-Y.
We are going to the 11th, still 0-0. I'm not sure I can endure the agony. I call upon all hecklers to give the post-game feedback.