Sunday, April 6, 2014

Long ball sinks Cain, Giants

Matt Cain pitched well tonight. Then he didn't. He had velocity and movement, and got a lot of weak contact (I think there were four 3-1 plays). Then he didn't. The two booming home runs he allowed to Matt Kemp were on fat pitches that were far from Buster Posey's target. Six hits allowed in six innings, all for extra bases: three homers and three doubles. It was weird. Cain seemed to have his usual arsenal, but then he'd lay one up there and it would get crushed. (Ramirez' homer was on a good pitch down and in, he just put a good swing on it.) Zack Greinke was dominating through the first five, then seemed to hurt himself on the bases and when he came out for the 6th allowed a bomb apiece to Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence. They went with the bullpen the rest of the way. Final line for Matty: 6IP, 6H, 5R, 0W, 3K, 81P, 43GSc. Final score: 6-2 LA.

If there is one thing that will chase me away from baseball, it is television broadcasts. Tonight was wretchedness in the extreme. The ESPN clowns (blithering, useless John Kruk, coupled with the equally pointless--but stentorian--Dan Shulman) spent most of the game talking about the Dodgers and would drift off into things like the Masters. Yeah, golf. The camera spent an entire half-inning looking at Yasiel Puig in the dugout while the talking heads provided their deep and original analysis of the "controversy" he generates. Hello Dodgers fans--and the rest of baseball--there is no there, there. He's young, he's talented, he makes mistakes. Wow, deep stuff. The entire show was a Dodgers game. They might as well have just let Vin call it (at least he'd actually call the game). The other team happened to be the Giants, which is why I was watching, but everyone else involved in the production of the television event was there to talk to Dodgers (an entire half-inning with Clayton Kershaw), talk about the Dodgers, and show pictures of the Dodgers. Yeah, we know they are the media's darlings, but come on, have some professionalism. They kept showing pictures of the Santa Monica pier, too, which is (1) miles from Chavez Latrine, and (2) filled with people who had no interest in the game. It was a "We ♥ LA" festival and they got their wish--the LA team won, salvaging their weekend.

Salvage was indeed what they did after losing the first two games 15-6. The Giants were looking for a sweep and that would have been sweet, but a 5-2 road trip against the NL West is not too bad. I'll take it. Next time Cain pitches it will be at home (against the Rockies on Saturday) and maybe he'll put together his first good start. Otherwise I have to like the way the 2014 season has opened.




nomisnala said...

Since Matt Cain has come up to the majors he has been one of my favorite Giants. However, I am becoming more convinced, that no matter how good he can be, he seems to be fated to be a career 500 pitcher. Perhaps if he were drafted by the Yankees he would be destined for better career Win/Loss numbers, but he just seems year after year, to either not get the run support, or, if on the rare occasion he does, that is the game he falls apart. For a guy who was seriously concerned about yielding too many home runs last year, he sure made the mistake pitches to the wrong guys. Ramirez used to kill us when he was on the Marlins. A friend of mine today said that Pittsburg's center fielder is the best in the N.L. My response, earlier today, was that if Matt Kemp gets healthy, at best McCutcheon is the second best all around center fielder in the N.L. Speaking of center fielders, it is good to have our Angel in the outfield.

DrBGiantsfan said...

I mostly agree with you about the broadcast. I thought Kruk did the best job I've seen explaining Brandon Belt's "wrapping" and why the change in hand position on the bat has helped him. They also did spend some time talking about how the Giants are the most serious threat to the Dodgers in the NL West. But yeah, it was mostly a mess and the prolonged focus on Puig interacting with the coaches in the dugout was distracting.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I notice I'm always crankier about the broadcast when the Giants lose.

Ron said...

MLB Network's Mitch Williams & ESPN's Kruk have no business holding regular jobs on TV. I actually like Kruk a little more than Williams, but they're both idiots. Furthermore, does it really add credibility to anything to see Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, & the rest of those idiots dressed up in dark suits & shiny dress shoes, while holding balls & bats & prancing around some imaginary ballfield? The whole schtick is sickening.

The other thing about the Puig half-inning was that he was mostly talking to noted baseball hypocrite Mark McGwire who, as is his wont, didn't miss another opportunity to set a shining example for the youth of America tuning in by shoving chewing tobacco into his face. All very bizarre that they lingered on it for so damn long.

Saturday & Sunday felt too much like the first half of 2013 - MadBum dominant, Cain giving up the long ball. But, mostly, we are off to a great start. It's a big relief to see Belt smacking the ball around.

Zo said...

ESPN:professionalism = Fox News:journalistic integrity
ESPN:professionalism = GOP:participatory democracy
ESPN:professionalism = white zinfandel:rose wine

Remember when ESPN sports news used to be good? I don't know how anyone can stand to listen to it, or anything else on that network anymore. It is celebrity driven, so of course, dodgers. Fortunately, I can turn on the radio and turn the sound off. I thought you had MLB network. Don't you get to listen to games on that?

Zo said...

Here is a fun read:

nomisnala said...

Did anyone see Russo today on MLB TV rant about Matt Cain, and not in a good way. He is a suffering giants fan. He also could not believe that on Jeter's final opening day, the Yankee fans did not give him a bigger cheer, or a standing O. I am hoping that Cain can get back in the groove, but his slow start is disturbing. Any announcers not giants announcers are not as good as giants announcers. I would have rather watched Scully than Schulman. J.K. did provide some good information.