Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cain and Giants Prevail in Florida

After retiring the first nine guys on 29 pitches, Matt Cain loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 4th inning. After an epic ten-pitch battle with Adeiny Hechavarria the big righty got a sharp grounder right back to the box that he snagged with a lightning-quick scoop and secured the final out. The whole mess took 40 pitches, and at the time it was one of those "hinge" plays that the game seemed to turn on. The Giants had just gone up 4-0 in the top of the inning and getting through that unscathed--a "shutdown" frame--seemed huge. In the bottom of the 6th, Matty gave up a leadoff single and then battled Giancarlo Stanton to a 2-2 count. The next pitch was a screamer up and in to the big slugger, who spun counter-clockwise, that is toward the pitcher, and fell to the ground. It was ruled a ball and the appeal to first base umpire Larry Vanover was denied. An incredulous Cain lost his characteristic cool and barked and gestured at the man in blue before returning to the mound. The 3-2 pitch, predictably, was a fat one that Stanton blasted 450 feet into left-centerfield and cut the lead in half. An enraged Cain kept up the chirping, but almost as if to prove a point, struck out the side. It was another of those "turning point" moments that could have tipped the scales and shifted that ever-elusive "mo" to the other team. The Man They Call The Horse then got the next three outs in the 7th on 11 pitches and his night was done.

Fortunately the Giants added two in the 8th as Santiago Casilla had a little trouble in the bottom half. He kept the lid on things, though, and got the outs, turning it over to closer Sergio Romo who had an easy 9th. Cain, despite the homer, had a good start (Game Score 64), and earned a pitcher-win, his 8th of the year and the 93rd of his career. The Giants win their third straight and find themselves clawing their way out of the cellar, just a half-game ahead of the Padres. Madison Bumgarner gets the start tomorrow afternoon (10:10 a.m. Pacific).




nomisnala said...

Casillo should have been out of the inning, save for an error by Crawford, which could have been a DP, and no runs would have scored. I wondered why Bochy did not go to Lopez vs. Logan Morrison. Was he worried about a 4 out save for Romo? It might not have been a save situation if he played it right. Belt almost snagged the ball. I was at the game and could not see what happened in the corner, it seemed like Pence was trying to come up with the ball forever. Anyway, all is well that ends well, and Pablo tore down first base to get an infield hit, I thought that Lou Brock was inside his body for that hit. I am glad that Matt pitched a good game. The Bums continue to win and shut their opposition down. It didn't just start when Puig came up, it started when they decided to play Juan Uribe everyday.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I remember thinking that BCraw's reach exceeded his grasp on that play. His momentum was taking him toward first, if he had just gone for the easy out with a 4-run lead I would have been happy. But we've seen BCraw make some impossible plays look easy, so I can live with it. Looked like on TV the ball came up on Belt, he was right there. And Pence had it cleanly, the ball just slowed down when it bounced off the wall. Like you say, all's well that end's well. And the Panda hustle to first was quite a moment!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Dodgers playing over .800 ball (42-8 in last 50 games), damn close to the best 50-game stretch EVER in ML history. Let's hope they have a serious regression to the mean very soon.