Matt Cain looked good in the throwback uniform, and except for back-to-back batters in the 4th inning, looked good mowing down the Cubs as well. I thought Ol' Boch might let Matty get a complete game for the sake of Retro Day at the Yard, but Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo were called upon after a leadoff walk and they got the three big ones in the 9th to save the narrow win. Good call, Skipper, 117 pitches was a Retro effort. Guys used to do that on both ends of a doubleheader back in the day, right? Back when "relief pitchers" were called "sissies." The Giants put together an almost comical rally in the 6th that clearly infuriated Matt Garza and chased him from the game. Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano circled around Melky Cabrera's pop fly with Ryan Theriot on first base and it hit the glove and fell for a single. Angel Pagan, with one out, hit a little dinker to third that he beat out. Aubrey Huff walked to tie the game, and another dinker to third by Joaquin Arias brought home the go-ahead run on the fielder's choice. We've seen it happen to Cain too many times, but today the baseball gods smiled upon us and made it happen to the other Matt. Not much offense, but how about the defense? The Giants caught the ball and made the plays and didn't mishandle any chances (unlike their opponents). They have to keep doing that if they want to win these close, low-scoring games. Both Eric Karros and Dick Stockton on the Fox telecast talked about how they like this year's San Francisco team and how they can "grind it out." Karros even went so far as to say they reminded him of the 2010 club. This team lacks that team's home run pop, but with Pablo Sandoval back in the lineup that will pick up a bit. This team lacks that team's great defense, but they may be turning a corner. This team lacks that team's dominant ace Tim Lincecum, but they've got Big Time Retro Matty, the staff WAR leader, on the job. Game 54 tomorrow, the one-third mark of the season.
p.s. Matt Cain was 15-13 after his first two seasons. He went 15-30 in the next two. He's gone 45-32 since then to finally get back to .500 (75-75). Let's hope he blows past that!