Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cain and Giants Crush Bucs, Salvage Series

With two outs in the 7th inning Matt Cain threw a pitch that broke down and in to Neil Walker and it hit him on the right leg. Andrew McCutcheon had doubled with one out, only the Pirates second hit of the evening. With two on and 101 pitches thrown, Bruce Bochy called on Javier Lopez to get Pedro Alvarez and finish the inning. He walked him on four pitches and was promptly yanked in favor of Jean Machi, who got the final out, whiffing catcher Michael McKenry. That was the closest thing to a blemish on Cain's excellent start. His final line was 6-2/3, two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. The lineup chipped away at Pirates starter Charlie Morton and finally chased him after five, and then lit up reliever Mike Zagurski for five in the 6th and had a mostly easy cruise from then on. Gregor Blanco, Buster Posey, and Joaquin Arias all had three hits, and Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer in the 10-0 romp. Not only did the Giants need a game like this, Your Humble Narrator did, too. The first two games of the series were seriously ugly, and with the team headed for Atlanta (another tough squad), it was nice to see them snap out of their funk, at least for one night.

Some funny things happened. Brandon Crawford got caught in a rundown play at third base in the 5th, but the third baseman (Alvarez) was called for interference obstruction after a throw and BCraw was awarded home. Hunter Pence, a little later in the same inning, was in between second and third and was struck by a batted ball from Joaquin Arias for the third out. It would have been an RBI single. In the 6th, Cain ticked a liner up the middle from Jordy Mercer off his glove and it ricocheted to Nick Noonan at second for the out. In the 9th, Noonan hit a ball that looked like his first career homer, only on review was changed to a double as the replay showed it hit the yellow padding on top of the barrier and didn't clear it.

Mostly though, this game was a tonic. A balm. A salve. The Giants got good pitching (zero runs allowed!), lots of hitting (ten runs scored!), and good fielding (no errors and three DPs!). That's a good combination. Giants: repeat that.


p.s. Jake Dunning was called up to replace Ramon Ramirez who was DFA'd.


nomisnala said...

Cain pitched great, and I think he was being squeezed all night, which was quite upsetting because Morton had poorer control, and the ump was looking for strikes for him. Despite that Cain led the Giants to pitching their 7th shutout of the year. Go Matt. No bad inning tonight.

Shankbone said...

I was inspired enough by this win to fire up the 2012 World Series Film. I'm currently watching Matt Cain walk into Tiger Stadium in a cowboy shirt before Game 4. "Enjoy the moment before what we were going to do" - Tennessee Stud.

Lets limp through June, regroup and go on a rampage!

Brother Bob said...

A new tradition- Cain pitches extremely well in mid-June and the Giants win 10-0.

Zo said...

What a schizophrenic team this is.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I can't decide if they are a sleeping dragon, ready to kick ass once they wake up, or if they are a just a faded shell of their 2012 championship squad. It's still early in the season, and no real powerhouse has emerged in the division, so I like option one.