Heading into the final frame trailing 7-5, the San Francisco Giants were able to blast three homeruns in the 9th inning to finish Cactus League play with a 10-7 victory over the World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
As spring training is coming to a close, the San Francisco Giants still have a few questions regarding the roster heading into Opening Day. One of the more glaring questions is who will be victorious in securing the fifth starter role between Matt Cain and Ty Blach to begin the season?
Cain took the bump today against the Chicago Cubs and turned in one of his best outings of the spring. In 5.1 innings, Cain gave up 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 5 batters. Although these are not jaw dropping numbers, it shows that Cain is not going down without a fight. Aside from the 6th inning meltdown, Cain put together a rather solid outing and showed he is still able to get some outs, which will certainly help his case. The fact he was able to find some success against a left-handed heavy lineup is definitely encouraging.
Aside from the fifth starter drama, here are some takeaways from today’s game.
- Giants fans know all too well that the organization treat their veterans with the utmost amount of loyalty. Although Blach has put together a better spring than Cain, do not be surprised if Bochy names Cain the fifth starter for the time being. Cain also threw 99 pitches today, which would be an abnormally large amount for a long relief role.
The bullpen has been worrisome all spring for the Giants. Players slated to be key contributors this season have struggled immensely in Cactus League play. Today in particular,
gave up 3 hits, 1 walk, and two runs in his outing today. His ERA raised to 6.75 overall this spring and does not look like he can get timely outs in the big leagues as of now. If these problems continue into the season, the Giants may have to look at other options near the trade deadline.
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- Denard Span is seeing the ball really well. After struggling most of the spring, Span has raised his batting average significantly over the last couple of weeks. He had two hits today, including a leadoff homerun against Jake Arrieta, which is impressive.
- Chris Marrero deserve a roster spot. Marrero has been clutch all spring, evident by his timely go ahead three-run homerun in the ninth inning today. It was his 7th homerun of the spring, trailing only Bryce Harper, who has 8. Anytime you are mentioned in the same sentence as Bryce Harper, you must be doing something right.
The San Francisco Giants will head back to the Bay to take on the A’s for three games, before heading to Arizona on Monday to open the regular season.