Postgame Wrap: The Smoking Gun

Watching Matt Cain’s starts is always something of a surreal experience. He doesn’t have the Tim Lincecum windmill delivery, or the Barry Zito crazy curviness, or even the Madison Bumgarner lazy-arm snap that makes hitters look silly. No, Cain doesn’t have a gimmick. He doesn’t throw 96 mph, he doesn’t have a curve ball that moves 10 feet, and he doesn’t have crazy ninja sliders.

He just pitches. He walks to the mound, plays some catch with Buster Posey, and then walks back to the dugout. Sometimes he smacks hits. His pitching style is so easy, so effortless, that you almost forget that the other team gets to hit too. I know that heaping praise on Matt Cain is nothing new, but he’s so good that I almost forget to watch. The Giants never had more than a two-run lead in today’s game, but you knew that nothing would happen. I stopped watching after the 8th inning, so I assume everything went fine after that.

Cain is the ace of the staff. And you heard it here first, but Cain is going to get Cy Young votes.

Also, welcome back to relevance, Nate Schierholtz. Knowing how streaky Nate is as a hitter, he may go on a tear now, repeating his ridiculous numbers from mid-April.

Today was Sergio Romo’s best game of the year, and a nice recovery after looking pretty hittable on Friday.

I’m really glad Travis Ishikawa has a roster spot in the majors. I always liked him, and I hope today’s pinch hit gets him some more playing time. That doesn’t I’m going to invite him to my birthday party anymore, but still.

Brandon Watch 2012:

Belt: He looked confident at the plate today, and worked counts well before grounding out thrice. And come on, after Pagan singled in the 8th and Ron Roenicke put in Manny Parra (a lefty) to face Belt, how much would you have bet that Belt would’ve been pulled? Instead, he has a good at-bat before grounding out up the middle. Tough to know what to take from that, but I still don’t see Belt getting starts against lefties, especially with Aubrey Huff coming back. In Huff’s crappy year last year, he actually hit lefties better than righties. Still not well, but I could see them making that argument.

Crawford: Back to the Mendoza line, and not looking very good while he’s at it. His defense was fine, but nothing really stood out today. He’s going to lose more and more at-bats to Joaquin Arias, especially against lefty pitchers.

Stats of the Day:

41: Games Pablo Sandoval missed in 2011 after breaking his hamate bone

25: Games Giants won while Sandoval was gone (61%)

20: Consecutive games with a hit for Angel Pagan

5: Consecutive Quality Starts for Matt Cain in 2012

5: Games since the Giants hit a home run

2: Giants winning streak

1: Blown saves by Conor Gillaspie Santiago Casilla

0.73: Matt Cain’s 2012 WHIP

0: Number of times Matt Cain has pitched fewer than 6 innings in 2012

Bonus Stat of the Day:

53: The number of minutes we spent talking to Grant (@mccoveychron) today for our podcast. Go listen!