Saturday, July 20, 2013

The return of the old Matt Cain

With the Giants starting the game 7 under .500 and Matt Cain on the skids, this one was huge. 

That guy who was so great in 2010-12? Yeah, that guy. He's back, per the SF Chron's Henry Schulman -- the lead paragraphs say it all -- 

For the assembled throng at AT&T Park, no sight could have been more reassuring Saturday night than Matt Cain reaching 102 pitches and striking out Paul Godschmidt with a 93-mph fastball.
Nine days off seemed to remedy what ailed Cain, be it poor mechanics, arm discomfort or both. After lasting two-thirds of an inning in his final start of the first half, he pitched into the sixth and ended a five-game winless streak.
Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the Giants' 4-3 victory over the Diamondbacks, their fifth win in six games, which assured them consecutive series victories for the first time in nearly two months.

MC OConner at Raising (Matt) has some good recap, too --


Matt Cain threw 102 pitches in his five-plus innings, laboring with long counts and a strike zone the size of a potato. In the 5th, a blown double play allowed a run to score and extended the inning, and the 31 pitches seemed to do him in. He was gassed in the 6th and gave up back-to-back leadoff hits, one of the runners scoring after Cain was pulled. A little better luck and a little bit sharper command (four walks) and maybe Matty gets through six without help. The Giants put together a quick run in the 1st with a clutch hit from Pablo Sandoval, squeaked out another run in the 4th on a bases-loaded walk, and got the big blow (2-run HR) they really needed from Buster Posey in the 5th. The D-Backs kept the pressure on with a run in the 9th but it wasn't enough. It took seven relievers and 77 pitches to get the last 12 outs.

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