Matt Cain pitched a great game but the other guy did, too, and the Giants lost. Wily Peralta wasn't doing anything fancy, just throwing hard and changing speeds, but it was enough to keep runs off the board for six innings. The lineup left eight men on base and was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Two misplays in the field led to runs: Joaquin Arias booted a routine grounder in the 9th, and more shockingly, Buster Posey chucked a pickoff throw into left field in the 4th. Buster had a tough night. When he struck out in the 1st, he visibly sighed and slumped his shoulders. When do you see that? He also got plunked in the ribs with a fastball in the 6th, and grounded out feebly in the 8th with the tying run at third base. I suppose even the All-American Boy is mortal. The only offense was from the youngsters: Brandon Crawford had two hits, so did Roger Kieschnick, and Brandon Belt had a hit, a walk, and a run scored. The veterans (Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and Posey) were 1-for-15 with four strikeouts.
Cain looked sharp and generated a lot of pop-ups and weak contact. There were three hard-hit balls in his seven innings of work, doubles by Jean Segura and Norichika Aoki (who scored on Buster's bad throw), and the solo home run from Carlos Gonzales. In his last three outings (22 IP, Game Scores 67, 71, 67), Matty has allowed 16 hits, three walks, four runs, and struck out 20 batters. Regardless of the outcome, it's nice to see him looking like his old self. I wonder if Boch and Rags have considered reducing the big fella's workload come September. You know, an extra day between starts, or drop a late-season road start to give a call-up a look-see. That sort of thing. With 219-1/3 IP in the regular 2012 season on top of 30 IP in the post-season, that's a lot of wear and tear, especially when you add in the six full seasons before that. He's a $100M investment--might be time to think about 2014 and beyond.
Madison Bumgarner tonight. GO GIANTS!