Lose a complete game on the road when you only give up one run? Simple solution. Don't give up any runs. Throw a complete game shutout at home and, by gum, you'll win. Matt Cain knows how it works. Give up runs, lose. Don't give up runs, win.
Tonight the Giants racked up the necessary runs, exploding for FIVE big ones including a CF bomb by Pablo Sandoval. It's nice to see him getting his stroke back. Freddy Sanchez also contributed a key RBI and showed off some slick glove work as well.
But the story of the night was Matt Cain, who threw the 10th complete game, 3rd shutout, and 2nd one-hitter of his career. He absolutely dominated a potent-hitting lineup, mixing a sharp, biting curve in with his usual Tennessee smoke, getting 9 strikeouts without a single walk. He obliterated the heart of the Arizona order, whiffing über-stud Justin Upton twice, hot-hitting Adam LaRoche twice, slugger Mark Reynolds (who got the only hit) once, and feisty, battling Conor Jackson once. Cain faced two batters over the minimum, the only other baserunner coming via HBP (Reynolds again). Cain's Game Score of 94 was the highest by a Giants pitcher this season. It was a brilliant outing by any measure. Matt Cain shouldn't have to throw a shutout to get a lousy freakin' W, but sometimes a guy has to do what he has to do. Seems like the lads felt obligated to put some numbers on the board tonight, scoring in four separate innings. Matt Cain himself managed a walk and a run. All in all, a damn good night for the orange-clads.
UPDATE 0828 SATURDAY: The invaluable Baseball Musings reports (1) that Matt Cain's Game Score of 94 was the best of the 2010 season (Dallas Braden's perfecto was a 93) and that (2) Buster Posey got the call-up. With Molina slumping, it was time. Let's hope they have the sense to play him and to let him catch!
Extra Baggs also reported the Posey story but called it "unconfirmed." Nothing on the team site yet.
Buster Olney confirms the story in a tweet (h/t Hardball Talk).