Giants Waste Cain’s Strong Outing, Still Take Series From Brewers
By Bryan Rose
I’m not exactly what you’d call a glass half full type of guy, and I normally wouldn’t be too thrilled with a 4-5 homestand (especially one that involves the Padres), but for the Giants, it’s hard not to take that and run. After opening the nine game stand with a 2-1 series win over the Padres, the Giants were marred by poor defense and untimely hitting in their sweep to the Miami Marlins, losing all three games by a lone run. With no time to lick their wounds, the Giants welcomed to Milwaukee Brewers to AT&T, they too dealing with their own struggles after losing two of three in San Diego before their trip north, but it didn’t appear to phase them early as they gave the Giants an opening game drubbing. The Giants kept their head up though, taking the final two games of the weekend, giving them their fifth series win out of their last seven. The win pushed the Giants back to .500 as they head south to face the Dodgers.
Yes We Cain – It wasn’t an easy zone for either starter today, but Matt Cain made the best of it, turning in another All-Star like start limiting the Brewers to two runs in seven innings. The Giants’ workhorse mowed down ten in his start, only walking one despite the tight zone. Cain how now given up only 8 earned runs in his last 42.1 innings (since his six earned runs in Arizona), good for a 1.71 ERA in that stretch. Sadly, some poor defense in the top half of the ninth combined with Santiago Casilla‘s lack of command cost Cainer another win.
Keeping The Brew Crew Down – It’s been said that keeping the top of the order off base for any pitching staff is a strong formula to winning, and while I wont disagree with that, shutting down the middle of the opposing order is just as effective – and that’s exactly what the Giants’ pitching staff did this weekend. Although slugger Ryan Braun missed the series’ opening game, the Brewers 3, 4 and 5 hitters combined to go a paltry 7 of 34 for the series, good for a .205 average – an average that would’ve been lower if not for a poorly played ball by the Giants infield that was ruled a hit for Corey Hart.
Aubrey Huff To Return – Before the Giants take the field tomorrow, Aubrey Huff will be eligible to come off the disabled list for his anxiety issues, but the Giants find themselves in a bit of a roster crunch. With Bruce Bochy having all but extended the first base job to Brandon Belt thanks to his solid play, and Huff/Buster Posey available to spot Belt, the most likely candidate to be shown the door will be Brett Pill. The Giants could surprise with an out of the blue roster move, but if you’re a betting man, I’d suggest putting it on Pill to return to Fresno – for now. A shame given Pill’s solid bat off the bench, but, there simply isn’t room with Huff back. Money talks. It’s possible that Huff will be given a few days of time to rehab, which will push the activation back a few days, but he’ll return soon.
Notes: Angel Pagan extended his hit streak to 20 games, making him the second Giant to hit in at least 20 straight this year along with Pablo Sandoval. Pagan and Sandoval became the first San Francisco Giants era duo to ever have a 20+ game streak in the same season. Jack Clark holds the Giants record hit streak with 26. Buster Posey took a ugly foul tip off his mask early in the game this afternoon, the ball hitting him so hard, pieces of paint from his hockey-style helmet shared off. The slow motion replay showed the energy’s impact as the mask rippled as the waves went through it. Needless to say, 42,000+ held their collective breath in unison. A tweak of the jaw and a moment to gather himself, Posey, at least outwardly, appeared fine.