And on September 14, in the year of our Posey, 2012, Matt Cain got lucky.
Remember the meme of Cain getting cained? I think I have some boilerplate Cain-got-cained paragraphs around here somewhere. Blah blah bullpen blah blah low run support. Usually I'd toss in a link to Jim Scott, who finished his career with a 107-114 record and a 2.30 ERA.
Tonight was different. Cain walked three hitters in the first inning. None of them scored. I don't care what happened in between, that's a pitcher getting lucky. It wasn't the first time Cain walked three hitters in an inning. He's done it a few times. The first time he did it was in 2006, when the third person to walk in the first inning was … Freddy Sanchez. Huh. Cain eventually gave up a run that inning after hitting … Jose Castillo with a pitch.
The second time Cain walked three in an inning, the last hitter he walked was ... Marco Scutaro. Well, I'll be.
Creepy. Cain walked three in a single inning again later that season, and the third person to walk that inning was … Ryan Zimmerman. Ha. So we're out of the weird zone.
Except the player to do it after that was David Bell
So here's how I'm reading this, Bible Code-style:
- Bell advanced the Giants into the World Series
- Sanchez helped the Giants win a World Series
- Scutaro is going to help the Giants win the Intercontinental Super Championship Series that we don't even know about yet
- Zimmerman is going to help the Giants win the 2028 World Series in the last year of his 10-year deal, even if we knew that already
- Miguel Montero is going to watch the playoffs from a very comfortable couch
Even though we're way off track, this is all in the interest of science, people. But we were talking about Cain being lucky. One of the reasons I suggest that is because the Diamondbacks had a squillion runners on base every inning. They were like tribbles. Some of them were via the walk, some of them were on weak hits, some of them were on well-struck hits … a squillion runners. The Diamondbacks scored two runs tonight. They had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, and Chris Young hit a 180-m.p.h. fastball to Pablo Sandoval for the second out.
Wait. Chris Young … Chris Young … wasn't the original Chris Young traded for the original Adam Eaton? And now the new Chris Young is playing in the same outfield as the new Adam Eaton?
Dammit, dammit, this all fits. The Scutaro, the Chris Youngs, the Freddy Sanchezes, dammit, dammit, don't just sit there. WHO HIT THE GRAND SLAM TONIGHT? WHO HIT THE GRAND SLAM?
Anywho, Cain got lucky. But, whatever, he deserves a few years of luck after what he went through. One of my favorite parts of the game tonight was Pablo Sandoval getting hot. Because you saw where that was going. In his first at-bat, he popped up because that's what he does now. And then in the field, he had a brutal, brutal error. What should have been a double play with the pitcher up ended up as a second/third situation with one out after a Sandoval error. If you had closed captioning on, you would have read (Sandoval's confidence escaped through the open roof).
And on the next play, a Sandoval throw pulled Belt off the bag. Belt had time to get back to the back, but still. It couldn't have done wonders for Pablo's confidence.
After that, a bunch of hits and a key defensive play. The Giants are a much better team with a Pablo who is right. He was right earlier in the season. It'll be especially sweet if he gets right again.
I was pretty sure Collective Soul Cat was the best thing I was going to see tonight.
Then Santiago Casilla got an RBI single. Oh, mercy. What have I done to appease the baseball gods so? It was poetry in motion. Also, the poetry was kind of herky-jerky and awkward, but it was poetry.
I'm not sure if I have anything more to say on Casilla hitting -- that ship has sailed -- but I'm pretty sure a Casilla at-bat will forever be more exciting than an unassisted triple play or a pitcher hitting for the cycle. It's the purest argument against the DH that exists in the wild.
Yeah. You've earned that smirk, alright. Fine work.