San Francisco Giants: Cain dominates, Posey homers as Giants pound LA

Apr 18, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Buster Posey homered, the offense stayed hot, Matt Cain continued to dominate the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, and the San Francisco Giants won again.

Matt Cain pitched a stellar seven innings, while the offense and defense stayed hot as the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 for their fourth-consecutive victory.

Cain started the game by allowing a lead off double, but retired the side to strand the runner at second. He used his two seam fastball which sat 88-90 mph, and curveball to keep hitters off balance. His final line was 6.2 innings, one run on five hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

Los Angeles threatened once in the top of the third inning when Corey Seager hit a grounder off Cain’s foot, resulting in a single. Yasmani Grandal followed with a double, which scored the Dodgers’ lone run.

It was a tough-luck inning the San Francisco Giants offense took little time in dwelling over.

Mac Williamson welcomed himself back with a leadoff single to the opposite field in his first at bat back with the San Francisco Giants. Cain sacrificed him over, and Denard Span kept a hot bat by singling him home to tie the game at one.

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The San Francisco Giants’ offense scored runs all night, stringing multiple hits together to keep the line moving. Just the way Bochy likes it.

The fourth inning started with consecutive singles by Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. Brandon Crawford then followed by doubling down the right field line to score Belt and move Posey to third. Eduardo Nunez then hit a slow chopper up the middle to score Posey on a ball fielded on the outfield grass by Corey Seager, who threw the ball to the pitcher and no one was covering second base as Nunez slid in.

Nunez stole third on the very next pitch, and Christian Arroyo hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score him as the San Francisco Giants took a 5-1 lead.

San Francisco Giants’ defense lived up to their reputation and put on a show all night. Tonight, it was Belt’s turn to flash the leather. In the second, Belt made an outstanding play on a line drive he turned into a double play. Then, on a long throw by Arroyo, he made a nice pick on the one-hop throw to end the inning. Belt added another spectacular diving play to end the fifth inning.

The Giants added more insurance runs in the sixth and seventh. Williamson singled home Arroyo after he walked and stole his first career base. Posey mashed his seventh homer of the season in the seventh inning, and Nunez also doubled in Crawford to extend the lead to 8-1.

Bochy’s bullpen threw out Bryan Morris, Josh Osich, Cory Gearrin, and Derek Law for the remaining game.  Los Angeles scored two runs in the ninth off of Osich and Gearrin before Law entered to nail down the win.

Matt Cain has now thrown 12.2 innings, given up one run, struck out nine and walked four this season against the Dodgers in two Giants’ wins.

Three Things to Note:

The San Francisco Giants’ bats are coming around and the best evidence is in their approach to at bats. They are not fighting pitches anymore, and are shooting the ball the opposite way. Mac Williamson had two opposite field hits, Posey added one, and Belt joined in as well. It’s a telling sign they’re seeing the ball and not feeling pressure to do too much. Take what the pitcher gives you.

Matt Cain’s average fastball velocity this season is 89.38 mph, but his perceived velocity after his stride is actually lower at 87.5 mph. Usually, a pitcher’s miles per hour increases after stride, because you minimize the distance the ball has to travel. This is only concerning if Cain begins to routinely miss spots. He got away with a few mistakes over the heart of the plate, but if he can continue to primarily spot the fastball, he should be fine.

Mac Williamson has shown improvement even in just one game’s sample size. He didn’t try and pull any pitches, nor did he chase any bad ones. In the two hits he collected, he sent both of them to right field on solid contact. If he can continue this approach at the plate, and be consistent with his pitch selection, he’ll have a legit chance of staying when Pence returns.

Next: Giants Getting Hot at Right Time

San Francisco’s Ty Blach (0-2), will face Rich Hill (1-3), who makes his first start back off the DL for Los Angeles.  First pitch is at 7:15pm. Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn for all your San Francisco Giants’ news and game recaps as soon as they happen!