Giants don't score behind Matt Cain, fall to Dodgers

Thearon W. Henderson

Gross.

The slow gas leak of a caining. The feeling as you realize the familiarity of it all, the improbable mixture of drowsiness and rage.

The pillow over the face of expectations. The single tear that rolls down your cheek, even as you know you're doing the right thing. Good night, gentle expectations. You are malformed and awful, and you must not infect the others.

The irrepressible-jock-itch-during-a-job-interview that is this season. So awful. So uncomfortable. So ready for it to end.

Star-divide

The obligatory chart of cainings:

Rk Date Tm Opp IP H R ER BB SO
1 2006-08-01 SFG WSN 7.0 4 2 2 2 7
2 2007-04-09 SFG SDP 7.0 1 1 1 5 4
3 2007-06-10 SFG OAK 8.0 5 1 1 3 8
4 2007-06-16 SFG BOS 7.0 3 1 1 1 3
5 2007-06-27 SFG SDP 7.2 7 4 2 2 7
6 2008-07-29 SFG LAD 7.0 8 2 1 0 8
7 2008-09-16 SFG ARI 7.0 7 2 2 0 7
8 2008-09-27 SFG LAD 7.0 8 2 2 4 6
9 2010-05-22 SFG OAK 8.0 5 1 0 1 4
10 2011-08-06 SFG PHI 8.0 3 2 1 2 8
11 2011-09-07 SFG SDP 7.0 4 2 2 3 7
12 2012-05-01 SFG MIA 8.0 6 2 2 1 4
13 2013-08-06 SFG MIL 7.0 4 2 2 0 6

Those are just the seven-inning, two-run games in which he got the loss. The chart doesn't include the no-decisions.

If you're looking for some Pollyannaisms, it's much, much, much, much better to talk about cainings than "What's wrong with Cain?" The Giants fought through the cainings to have the most successful seasons in franchise history. They're part of the deal, the fine print that you don't bother reading.

But the Giants don't go anywhere without Matt Cain being himself. He's himself. In the cosmic sense, too, unfortunately. But that's much better than the alternative.

Star-divide

Nice list, jackass.

I don't remember being as wrong about a pitcher as I was about Hyun-Jin Ryu. I figured he was going to be Ted Lilly, and the Dodgers already had one of those. Ryu showed up in the spring throwing high-80s, and I figured the league would catch up with the change. Nope. He's good. And he's around for a while. The Giants will have to spend twice as much on Masahiro Tanaka and hope for the same results.

/Dodgers spend four times as much on Masahiro Tanaka, get better results

So it goes. Everything the Dodgers touched in the offseason paid off. Do you realize they went into the season with Luis Cruz as their starting third baseman, even though there was just about zero chance of him doing anything at all? But they had Juan Uribe. Oh. Yeah, he's the cavalry that works out. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you, and sometimes the bear is a four-win player despite having opposable thumbs.

Star-divide

I really wanted to be indifferent to the Brian Wilson appearance. If I were there, I would have done the ol' boo-clap that I invented for Jeff Kent. Lots of booing. Vigorous clapping. I'll never forget you or your contributions. I'll never forgive the words on your jersey right now. But from home? Nah. Can't get worked up about it. Not in a season like this.

Except ... he looked good. Like, really good. He had velocity and command. Remember the rumors that he was working out at USF with Giants people in attendance? What in the hell happened? How were they not seeing that? What, the bullpen was filled with irreplaceable talents?

I'd imagine the internal discussion went something like this:

Sabean: I don't know. It's a lost season. Why bother with the distraction?

Baer: Good point. Let's move on.

When the internal discussion should have gone something like this:

Sabean: I don't know. It's a lost season. Why bother with the distraction?

Baer: Good point. Let's move on.

Sabean: Though, heh, imagine a ballpark filled with people in Dodger blue and stupid fake beards. And, oh, yeah, imagine him being a playoff hero for the Dodgers. Heh.

Baer: ...

Sabean: ...

Baer: I'll be right back. Have to make a phone call.

I don't know. Wilson's going to get guaranteed money from someone next year, so it's not like a deal with the Giants would have had any long-term implications. But, jeez, if he's pitching like that, isn't it worth the fake-beard money alone?

Star-divide

When a Tony Abreu homer is the only run of the game ... you probably didn't win. I have a whole Jeff Foxworthy routine filled with gems like that.

The last time the Giants won a game in which their only run came on a homer? Worth watching again, if only to get the taste of this one out of our mouths:


That might have been the last home run Posey hit, too. Missin' u, Buster.

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