In the bottom of 8th, Matt Cain retired the first two Blue Jays on five pitches. He'd thrown 7-2/3 shutout innings at that point, using 100 pitches for those 27 batters. Then he walked Fred Lewis on four straight balls. The next hitter, second baseman Aaron Hill, got a fastball over the middle of the plate on a 1-1 count and he smacked it over the left-center field fence. While the Ghost of Lindsey Nelson would nasal "oh, those two-out walks," it was the fat pitch to .194/.284/.375 Hill that spoiled things for no. 18. To be fair, that was Hill's 10th homer, and the Jays live and die by the big fly--they lead all of baseball in bombs. Cain gives up a lot of fly balls, which is to be expected with a guy who throws high heat, but that was only the FIFTH homer he'd allowed in his 100 innings of work. Unfortunately, like Zito last night, Cain could not afford to make a location mistake because the Ghost of the Old Giants Offense reared its ugly head and failed to give him run support. After a brilliant home stand and a run of excellent scoring over the last few weeks, the bats have gone cold in Canada and the Giants have lost two well-pitched games. The 37-30 Giants are tied for the 8th-best record in baseball (tied for 4th-best in the NL). It's a tight race in the NL West--the Giants remain in 3rd place but are only a game back of LA and two back of leaders San Diego. Let's hope Jonathan Sanchez gets some help tomorrow.
p.s. We had a lovely road trip, and saw two great wins at the ballpark, Monday's drubbing and Wednesday's nail-biter. Last year we saw Cain and Zito, this year we got Sanchez and Lincecum--how great is that? I'll put our Big Four up against any rotation I've seen in my lifetime as a fan. Huff's Splash Hit on Wednesday was a beautiful sight from section 139 (LF bleachers), he's been the best acquisition of the year by any club. His .410 wOBA is 11th in baseball, just behind no. 10 Albert Pujols. I spend plenty of time ragging on the Brian Trust, so I ought to give Mr. Sabean his due when one of his moves works.