Matt Cain pitched beautifully tonight, throwing five hitless innings before finally surrendering two runs in the 7th inning. Jon Niese of the Mets also pitched a great game, holding the potent Giants lineup to only five hits and two runs. It was a crisp, well-played pitchers duel until the 8th when the Giants finally broke through against the Mets bullpen. Local boy Carlos Torres (from Aptos) gave up a two-run homer to Buster Posey and that was the difference. The home team conjured up another dramatic win, their 20th at AT&T and 40th overall.
Even when it looked like Matty might get Cained for the umpteenth time, I was less concerned about the outcome than the fact that Matt Cain looked like Matt Cain. Injuries are funny things, and we aren't used to no. 18 missing turns and spending time on the DL. But he looked strong and had good command until losing it a bit in the 7th when he gave up a double and a homer to the top of the lineup. Homeplate umpire Rob Drake liked what he saw from both pitchers: Cain had 19 called strikes versus three swinging, Niese had 15 called strikes and four swinging. Brandon Hicks excelled tonight--he had two hits and a walk and scored two and figured in all three double plays the Giants turned. Brandon Crawford drove in both of those runs with a sacrifice fly in the 5th and a two-out single in the 7th.
Tim Hudson takes on Bartolo Colon tomorrow night. After that the Giants face Zack Wheeler, Stephen Strasburg, and Doug Fister. That's some serious pitching! Should be fun.