7-1 win in DC
Since the All-Star Break the Giants have won only six games--three of those wins have come the last three times Matt Cain has been the starting pitcher. Just another nutty circumstance in this increasingly nutty season. Today Matty had to match up with Stephen Strasburg. The first-pick phenom was not his usual dominant self: he could not get out of the 5th inning, surrendering eight hits and four runs to the Giants. Cain didn't overwhelm the Nationals, yielding five hits, three walks, and hitting two batters in his five-plus frames, but they couldn't score a run against him. And runs, of course, are what matter in this game. You can have all the baserunners you want but if you can't push them across no one gives a damn. The Giants found some life in their bats with Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey delivering the bulk of the big hits. Six relievers got the final 12 outs--well, five relievers got the final 12 outs as Jake Peavy, on to get the final out of the 8th, gave up three straight hits before being yanked. That was really the only blemish on the day. Unless you count the face blemish Hunter Pence applied to himself by fouling a ball off the plate into his cheek. He toughed it out and stayed in, managing a hit and run scored as well as a great catch in right to end the game.
This drought of winning baseball makes every win seem like manna from heaven. The team is still wandering in the desert, but a 4-3 record in the last seven games is something to celebrate, don't you think? String a bunch of those 4-and-3s together and you have a winning month. Or two.
Rubber match tomorrow (10:35 am PDT), Madison Bumgarner gets the call.