I hate watching games in that damn ballpark in LAnaheim. I hate their goddamn A-hole logo. Ugh. Nothing good ever happens to the San Francisco Giants in Orange County. From what I can tell in my lonely outpost here in the State of Jefferson, not much good happens down there anyway. But this is about the Giants. And about Matt Cain. The Angels treated our hero rather rudely, I thought. There were balls flying all over the yard and runners dashing all over the bases. Right away, in fact. Matty followed up El Perfecto with his worst start since his first game of the season. Five innings, five leadoff baserunners, six hits, four walks, a hit batsman, and three runs. But for a huge double play and four strikeouts it would have been worse. It almost was, in fact, when Cain took a shot off the left wrist in the 4th from the bat of Mike Trout. Naturally the Tennessee Stud kept his cool and made the play (throwing out Maicer Izturis at home). But it was scary. And a hell of a fall from Cloud Nine. Kuip said it well: "He was wobbly, but he left the ring still standing." Shane Loux gave the Giants their first 1-2-3 inning in relief in the sixth.
The lineup peppered the ball all around and got contributions from a host of folks. Thirteen hits and three walks led to five runs. It seemed like it should have been more, but five is an explosion for the Giants. It's the death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts offense. Our old friend Jerome Williams was on the hill for the LAAs. I was happy to see him despite the ugly, ugly uni. He was the 39th pick in 1999, and pitched for the 2003 NL West winners. Kruk pointed out that LaTroy Hawkins, who we saw in relief, came to SF from the Cubs when Williams was traded (with David Aardsma) in 2005. Jerome was signed and released by several clubs and was out of the bigs for a long time and even played in the independent leagues for a bit before climbing back. In an unfortunate turn of events, we learned in the 9th that he'd been hospitalized after leaving the game for "shortness of breath." Let's hope he's OK.
Brilliant relief work (twelve straight outs!) preserved the win for the good guys. And how about zero errors? It took a superb team effort tonight to prevail over a good team. The Giants sit at 38-30, the fourth-best record in the National League. Cain gets his 9th win despite a sub-par start (Game Score 43). The guys "had his back" as they say.
p.s. Did you see that R.A. Dickey pitched his second consecutive one-hitter? Crazy!