Game Score 77
When Matt Cain gets rewarded with win number X, he'll earn an All-Star spot. He pitched brilliantly tonight, having only one tough inning, the 6th. M.C. gave up a leadoff game-tying HR to Ian Kinsler, and threw another couple dozen pitches (walking two) before getting the third out. Other than that it was "lights out." Our pathetic offense delivered 4 hits and 1 run in those 8 innings of stellar work, failing to do its part in getting the vaunted X for Big Sugar. That would have made The Tennessee Stud the leader in wins in the NL, and tied for the ML lead.
Nonetheless, the improbable, intagible Giants got a hit from their best hitter, Pablo Sandoval, to lead off the 9th, giving the team's VSC Jefe an opportunity to get a game-winning hit. Alas, he whiffed. Winn's DP ended our hopes, and extras ensued.
Superb bullpen work by Wilson and Romo was rewarded in the 11th when Olympic Nate gave Gomer an opportunity just screaming for VSC. He whiffed. Flemm then heaped praise on The Rental for his season-long clutch hitting, and he grounded out. Flemm then wondered if the Rangers would walk Pablo Sandoval with No. 1 looming on deck, sure enough, BenMo got another chance. Payback--that's all everyone was thinking about after the free-swinging catcher had K'd in the 9th. On his way to another K, a wild pitch delivered the goods. Way to go, Nate Schierholtz!
I'm tossing out the stats and the analysis tonight, and just thinking about Matt Cain. He seems to take command of games this year, pitching with more confidence and getting the big, late outs more regularly. That's all old-school newspaperman jibber-jabber, of course, or fan-boy infatuation, no hard evidence presented. But that's my take, for what it's worth. Matt's certainly had much more run support this year, tonight a galling exception, and that is a big difference as well. What a treat we've had watching this fellow's entire career. We have him locked up for next year and a club option for 2011, so we will be seeing a lot more of him. Ain't that fabulous?
You have to love the symmetrical pitching line, too.