Matt Cain wasn't missing many bats today. The Cardinals made him throw 98 pitches to get 15 outs. They worked counts and hit 26 foul balls in 22 plate appearances off the hard-throwing righty. Cain came into the game with a GB% of 50.8 (GB/BIP), but found himself bedeviled by poor location, patient hitters, and a lot of fly balls, one of which flew over the LF fence. Albert Pujols finally got on track and pummeled our guy with a homer and two line-drive singles. Of the 3 grounders Cain allowed, one was a bunt by David Freese in the 4th inning with Colby Rasmus on 2nd base with no outs. Yadier Molina, the next batter, hit the fly ball to score Rasmus. LaRussa was playing little ball early in the game, probably figuring the Giants hitters wouldn't do much against Brad Penny. Having only scored 1 run in the previous two games, he also probably figured he wouldn't get many other chances against Giants pitchers. Both notions were proved correct. The Giants offensive ineptitude continued, and a good team effort by Cain and the 'pen was wasted. Penny worked an efficient 7 innings, needing only 87 pitches, and the Giants once again couldn't get a big hit, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position. He tired in the 8th, finally giving up a two-out hit to Sandoval (his 3rd of the day) on his 99th delivery. "Big Money" Molina took his hacks against flame-throwing Jason Motte, but to no avail, and Ryan Frankin had an easy 9th, despite Olympic Nate's nice-looking 2-out double.
It was great to beat a good club like the Cardinals 2 out of 3, but if we had any offense at all we could have swept them. Somebody else on the team--besides Sandoval--has to step up and hit. It was great to see Torres get 3 hits, especially off a right-hander, but we need another bat to show up soon. Eventually no one in the league will bother to pitch to Pablo if the rest of our guys are no threats. Philadelphia's high-powered offense is next, and über-ace Roy Halladay gets the ball against a surging Jonathan Sanchez.
It was the Feast of St. Mark today--my namesday--but there was no divine help for the Giants. What good is a patron saint if he can't intervene in an important ballgame and help the hometown boys? Perhaps I failed to make the proper sacrifices. I promise to do better next time.