SF 6 AZ 2
Matt Cain walked off the mound after 13 unlucky pitches in 6th inning tonight in San Francisco to a warm ovation from the home crowd. It was a redemptive performance of sorts for the big righty, he only lasted five innings, but he allowed just one run--in the 1st, mind you--and actually left with the lead, striking out six of the 23 batters he faced. As impressive as his start was, and yes the bar has fallen for the once-formidable ace, it was his booming double with one out in the bottom of the 5th that got the go-ahead rally started. Jon Miller was particularly inspired by Cain's blast, saying he "obliterated it." Denard Span hit a single to center and Giants nemesis AJ Pollock hesitated just enough for Phil Nevin to give Matty the go sign and he scored easily. You have to love a pitcher who ties the damn game! After a Brandon Belt walk, Hunter Pence singled to score Span, and Conor Gillaspie singled to drive in Belt and make it 3-1.
When Cain left in the 6th the issue was very much in doubt but Cory Gearrin struck out the three batters he faced (with two men on and no outs, mind you). It took 13 lucky pitches but he got three swinging whiffs. Now that's relief pitching! I was expecting an Old School Caining and was actually sanguine about the notion, after all, Matty losing (or ND'ing) close games happened all the time when he was a stud. So I figured if the Giants lost a nail-biter I'd be OK with it, just for the good news about Cain. But George Kontos got it done in the 7th, Nick Hundley blasted a double in the bottom half to drive in BCraw and make it 4-1, Panik walked, and Jarrett Parker got the cathartic rocket launch that should have been a homer but was instead a triple to make it 6-1.
Derek Law had some room to work with and he took it, but he kept the lid on and Hunter Strickland got the honors in the 9th with a four-run lead and he made it quick. The 6-2 final was a team effort par excellence. The Giants win a series for the first time in 2017 and they beat the hottest team in the division to do it. It's been a rocky start for our beloved boys so let's enjoy the big wins. I hope everyone is stoked about Matty's performance. Maybe he can be like Barry Zito was in 2012, sort of a talismanic presence that creates wins. After all, BZ was the same guy all the other years he pitched in orange-and-black, but that season all the cards fell in order and he scored big. A fella can dream, eh?
Madison Bumgarner tomorrow night against the Rockies.