Not that it's a surprise to anyone at this point in the season. The Pirates battered Matt Cain last night, crushing errant fastballs all over the yard and out of the yard. He was lucky to be charged with only three runs. Two runs were saved on doubles that bounced over the fence, and one was prevented by his own terrific scoop-and-throw of a dribbler in front of the plate that got Andrew McCutchen at home. It seemed like every time Cain went to his money pitch it missed Buster's target and drifted into the hit-me zone. The Pirates aren't a first-place team for nothing, and they teed off like batting practice. In the 4th, Gaby Sanchez smoked a liner up the middle that hammered Matty square on the forearm and he had to be removed from the game. It was a scary moment, but apparently there were no broken bones, just a contusion. It looked like it hurt, though. No word on whether he will miss any starts, but Mike Krukow said on the telecast that he would be surprised if he did not. You have to figure it will take several days to heal, even for a guy like Cain who never gets injured. Any excuse to sit the big fella down, I say. It's a lost season. No sense burning out your $100M franchise player. He's going to have to make some adjustments for next season if he's to deliver on his contract, no more April nightmares for one thing, and a lot fewer big flies. I note that last season he walked only 51 of the 876 guys he faced--this year he's already issued 47 free passes (643 BF). Something's different, but I'll leave it to the brain trust to figure it out.
The Giants tied the game up in the 3rd on a nifty two-out hit from Marco Scutaro, who did that once a week last season. But the bullpen coughed up seven runs right after that, and the rest of the evening was just for show. By the way, on the play that did Cain in, the ball bounced between first and second and Scutaro, showing some mad skills, ran over and fielded it and flipped it to Brandon Belt for the out. Hey, you take what you can get. Here's to 2014.