It isn't often that Matt Cain gets a win he didn't necessarily earn. The complete list of Matt Cain wins with four earned runs or more:
He was 4-41 with eight no-decisions in starts with four-plus earned runs before today. It's not like a pitcher should expect to win too many more than that, but Cain has over 200 starts with the Giants. He's earned a get-out-of-a-loss-free card or sixty.
Cain was decidedly imperfect, leaving pitches up in the early innings. And then the offense bailed him out. A total deus ex machina. Complete nonsense.
The first run scored on a Buster Posey doink that just fell in front of Matt Carpenter, who fields right like Chris Carpenter. Maybe Karen. Not sure. But, whatever, I'll take it. That's exactly the kind of stupid hit that teams are supposed to get. Not getting those hits is why the Giants were hitting .207 with runners in scoring position.
Brandon Crawford scored that first run after roping a double. He also drove in the next two runs. Again, all I'm looking for is a not-miserable performance this year. Vintage Jose Vizcaino. Rey Sanchez. Seriously. Today was a heckuva start.
Emmanuel Burriss scored the second run after reaching on an error. But, whatever, I'll take it. That's exactly the kind of stupid fielding that the Giants are supposed to take advantage of every so often.
Gregor Blanco scored the third run after walking. Without checking, I would like to congratulate him for breaking the post-Bonds team walk record for a season. Well done.
Angel Pagan scored the fourth run after reaching on a single -- one of the four times he reached base on the day. He's now hitting .296/.335/.454, which is pretty danged good for a center fielder. More walks would help. Seems like he got the intra-office e-mail saying as much.
That fourth run scored on Burriss's sacrifice fly, his 12th of the year. His 12th fly ball this year, that is. It was a good at-bat.
Aubrey Huff dribbled a ball to third, Brandon Belt ran by David Freese all distractingly gangly-like, and suddenly the ball was rattling off the dugout fence. That's the fifth run. Again, I'll take it. Other teams have been greedy with those stupid things. Take that unearned run back like Corey Feldman in Goonies.
The final two runs scored after a) Buster Posey got another hit, b) Angel Pagan took another walk, and c) Brandon Belt hit the crap out of a ball up the middle. Add in another walk and a Charlie Culberson fielder's choice, and you had an honest rally. It was like watching a brilliant satire of Giants baseball.
Does it seem excessive to catalog every run in a Giants win? Well, look at you. All cocky and such. They had to be listed, one by one. Makes it more official. And in the end, they all added up to a Matt Cain win on a day where he probably didn't deserve one.
Amazing. One of the better games of the year, of course. Possibly the most satisfying.
In the third inning, immediately following two walks to put runners at first and second, Emmanuel Burriss grounded into a double play. I thought Brian Sabean was going to jump on the field, put his arm around Burriss, and slowly walk him out the center-field gate. No one would have asked too many questions.
In the end, Burriss had a perfectly okay game, with a sac fly and a walk in four plate appearances. But the double play sent me on a scavenger hunt to find his lone major-league home run. I was sure it was something that was staged, like the moon landings, the Bin Laden death, or Barry Zito's complete-game shutout in Coors.
Instead, I actually found the video. Looks legit. And it's perfect.
"I'm in marching band. So I was there." They should have sent a poet; they should have sent a poet. That is the best Emmanuel Burriss home-run highlight that exists. It's the only one that exists. And it's perfect.