Matt Cain allows unearned run, pays for his mistake

1,000 words - Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

You'd think he would learn.

You know, it takes a pretty special performance to bump a caining like this below the fold. But the caining -- a vintage, Petco-fueled, miserable caining -- isn't the biggest story of the game. No, not tonight.

/pulls out chair

/turns chair around

/sits on backwards chair

Let's talk about Hector Sanchez.

It's okay, we're all friends, here.

If you're new to McCovey Chronicles, if you're experimenting with blogs because you're curious, we'll ease you into the situation. Here is the default position of McCovey Chronicles on Hector Sanchez:

Hector Sanchez is a talented individual who needs more time in an everyday lineup, both to work on his hitting and to work on his defense. Especially his defense. It's criminal that he hasn't been allowed to do so in Triple-A.

Criminal. It's made no sense, and this comes up in a recap about once every three weeks. An incomplete list of catchers I'd rather have on the active roster:

Welington Castillo
Chris Stewart
Yan Gomes
Kurt Suzuki
Jose Molina
Jose Lobaton
Tyler Flowers
Dioner Navarro
Hank Conger
Jeff Mathis
Brayan Pena
Rob Brantly
Ryan Hanigan
John Jaso
Josh Phegley
Erik Kratz
Wil Nieves
Carlos Corporan
Martin Maldonado
Yorvit Torrealba
Mike Zunino
Geovany Soto
Tim Federowicz
Chris Herrmann
Austin Romine
Stephen Vogt
Anthony Recker
Henry Blanco
Humberto Quintero
Tony Cruz
Gerald Laird
Josh Thole
Michael McKenry
Kelly Shoppach
David Ross
George Kottaras
Travis dArnaud
Yasmani Grandal
Guillermo Quiroz
Ryan Lavarnway
Josmil Pinto
Miguel Olivo
Hector Gimenez
Rene Rivera
Tony Sanchez
Taylor Teagarden
Koyie Hill
Francisco Cervelli
Ramon Hernandez
Jhonatan Solano
Tuffy Gosewisch
John Baker
Cody Clark
Corky Miller
Rob Johnson
Bryan Holaday
Jesus Sucre
J.R. Murphy
Steve Clevenger
Matt Pagnozzi
Chris Snyder
Brett Hayes
Bryan Anderson
Eric Fryer
Cameron Rupp
Chris Robinson
Juan Centeno
Adam Moore
Drew Butera
Miguel Gonzalez
J.C. Boscan
Johnny Monell
Steven Lerud
Lou Marson
Kyle Skipworth
Brandon Bantz
Sandy Leon
Audry Perez
Omir Santos
Mike Nickeas
John Hester

Give or take. Not because all of those catchers are better, or have more potential. That's not true in most of the cases. Not some, but most. Sanchez has more potential or is better already than most of those catchers.

But any of those catchers would allow Sanchez to ply his trade every freaking day. He's just 24, you know.

Ahem.

HE'S 24. HE'S NINE MONTHS YOUNGER THAN TRAVIS D'ARNAUD, WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE A HOT CATCHING PROSPECT. LET HECTOR SANCHEZ LEARN. DON'T SUBJECT HIM TO THIS SCRUTINY. DON'T SET HIM UP TO FAIL. DON'T SET HIS TEAM UP TO FAIL. HE ISN'T GOING TO LEARN HOW TO CATCH BY STARTING 40 GAMES A YEAR.

No one is as bad as Sanchez was tonight. No one. It was a special performance. Three strikeouts, a crucial double play, and a passed ball that lead to the winning run. That's special. That's a one-minute audition reel for someone auditioning for the part of Hector Sanchez. But it doesn't have to be like this. It never did.

I don't even know what a Brandon Bantz is, but I want one.

★★★

Oh, nothing, here's just a list of games in which Matt Cain pitched six innings and allowed one run or fewer without getting a win:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
1 2014-04-12 SFG COL L 0-1 GS-7 ,L 7.0 4 1 1 3 8 0 116 73 70 28 23 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.174 1.792 1.122
2 2013-09-18 SFG NYM L 4-5 GS-8 7.2 6 1 0 0 6 0 109 71 71 29 28 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.271 2.248 .681
3 2013-09-12 SFG LAD L 2-3 GS-7 7.0 6 2 1 1 5 0 89 64 63 29 27 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.015 0.946 1.375
4 2013-07-26 SFG CHC L 2-3 GS-7 7.0 6 1 1 1 7 0 115 78 67 29 28 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.154 1.792 1.087
5 2013-06-29 SFG COL L 1-2 GS-8 8.0 3 1 1 1 5 0 105 72 76 29 27 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.12 0.408 3.152 1.009
6 2013-06-07 SFG ARI L 1-3 GS-8 7.0 4 1 1 3 4 0 105 67 66 26 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.345 2.792 1.316
7 2013-04-01 SFG LAD L 0-4 GS-6 6.0 4 0 0 1 8 0 93 55 71 23 21 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.330 2.525 1.268
8 2012-06-24 SFG OAK L 2-4 GS-7 7.0 3 1 1 2 7 0 112 80 72 26 23 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.389 2.296 1.240
9 2012-04-18 SFG PHI W 1-0 GS-9 9.0 2 0 0 1 4 0 91 64 86 29 27 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.630 3.808 1.152
10 2011-09-13 SFG SDP W 3-2 GS-7 6.1 4 1 1 3 6 0 106 65 64 26 23 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.42 0.310 2.491 1.236
11 2011-08-06 SFG PHI L 1-2 GS-8 ,L 8.0 3 2 1 2 8 0 103 68 76 28 26 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.12 0.032 1.367 .703
12 2011-07-17 SFG SDP W 4-3 GS-6 6.0 3 3 1 2 9 0 102 64 65 25 21 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1.50 -0.206 -0.448 1.355
13 2011-06-30 SFG CHC L 2-5 GS-7 7.0 4 0 0 1 6 0 111 68 74 26 24 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.484 3.233 1.298
14 2011-06-19 SFG OAK L 1-2 GS-7 7.0 3 1 1 0 5 0 106 69 72 25 24 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.276 2.437 1.143
15 2010-09-21 SFG CHC W 1-0 GS-6 6.0 2 0 0 1 2 0 82 49 69 21 19 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.357 3.047 .991
16 2010-05-22 SFG OAK L 0-1 CG 8 ,L 8.0 5 1 0 1 4 0 113 72 73 30 26 1 0 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.238 2.938 1.065
17 2009-08-25 SFG ARI W 5-4 GS-7 7.0 4 2 1 4 4 0 102 61 63 28 22 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.105 1.555 1.080
18 2009-08-20 SFG CIN L 1-2 GS-8 8.0 8 1 1 1 3 1 109 79 64 33 32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1.12 0.379 2.982 1.455
19 2009-07-29 SFG PIT W 1-0 GS-9 9.0 3 0 0 2 4 0 111 75 83 31 28 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.692 4.570 1.269
20 2009-07-01 SFG STL L 1-2 GS-7 7.0 6 1 1 3 3 0 92 67 61 28 25 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1.29 0.208 2.414 1.060
21 2009-06-20 SFG TEX W 2-1 GS-8 8.0 3 1 1 3 8 1 106 74 77 30 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.12 0.397 3.062 1.161
22 2009-04-26 SFG ARI L 4-5 GS-7 7.0 4 1 1 4 5 1 103 67 66 27 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.29 0.331 2.657 .944
23 2008-09-21 SFG LAD W 1-0 GS-6 6.0 5 0 0 4 4 0 108 73 62 26 21 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.355 3.000 1.403
24 2008-07-29 SFG LAD L 0-2 GS-7 ,L 7.0 8 2 1 0 8 0 118 89 63 29 29 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 1.29 0.059 1.500 .982
25 2008-07-11 SFG CHC L 1-3 GS-7 7.0 3 0 0 3 9 0 115 77 77 27 23 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.460 3.821 1.156
27 2007-09-15 SFG SDP L 0-6 GS-6 ,L 6.0 1 1 1 0 6 0 77 52 72 19 18 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.50 0.157 1.839 .637
28 2007-06-16 SFG BOS L 0-1 GS-7 ,L 7.0 3 1 1 1 3 1 112 70 69 25 24 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1.29 0.260 3.085 .839
29 2007-06-10 SFG OAK L 0-2 GS-8 ,L 8.0 5 1 1 3 8 1 123 78 73 32 29 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.12 0.270 3.251 1.256
30 2007-04-28 SFG ARI L 4-5 GS-6 6.0 1 1 1 4 2 0 99 57 64 22 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1.50 0.248 2.376 .963
31 2007-04-17 SFG COL L 3-5 GS-7 7.0 2 0 0 3 7 0 110 66 77 26 22 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.402 3.938 1.026
32 2007-04-09 SFG SDP L 0-1 GS-7 ,L 7.0 1 1 1 5 4 0 115 67 70 28 20 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.29 0.177 2.312 1.190
33 2006-08-22 SFG ARI W 7-6 GS-7 7.0 7 1 1 1 7 0 114 76 65 29 28 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1.29 0.334 2.782 1.220
34 2006-07-16 SFG PHI L 2-6 GS-6 6.0 1 1 1 4 5 0 105 58 67 24 20 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.50 0.249 2.242 1.255
35 2005-09-25 SFG COL W 6-2 GS-6 6.0 3 1 1 3 4 1 102 64 63 24 20 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.50 0.295 2.409 1.360
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/18/2014.

Probably should have tried harder.

★★★

Cain was amazing, though. If you were a little weirded out by his first two starts, don't be. The Cain who pitched tonight was the same guy from every year before 2013, the All-Star with a perfect game, an almost-perfect game, and postseason heroics. It was fun to watch, except for the parts that were decidedly not fun.

Seriously, though, what's more important? Would you rather have a 8-7 victory with six Padres errors bailing the Giants and Cain out, or would you rather have a 2-1 loss in which Cain looked amazing?

The victory. Don't be stupid.

But those are empty calories. Cain looking like Cain is an uplifting theme in a downer of a chapter of a book with a happy ending. I hope.

Four pitches. Command. Control. Economy. This was just about as good as Cain gets. It's too bad he took that gypsy child and threw her off a bridge in Romania when he was visiting there after his rookie year. They took that really seriously.

★★★

If you want to be annoyed at someone, be annoyed at the A's. Tyson Ross is a joy to watch. He came up in mock drafts in 2008, when the Giants drafted Conor Gillaspie with their supplemental first-rounder. He was a local kid and a projectable arm, which seemed like the kind of thing the Giants would pay attention to. They went in a different direction, and for a while, it looked like they were smart to do so. The A's couldn't get a lot out of Ross.

Then they traded him for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner for no good reason. Parrino is like Ryan Theriot without the pedigree, and Werner is like, I don't know, Adam Cowart without the pedigree. For that, the Padres got a live arm.

I'm not going to do a side-by-side GIFparision -- it's not my team's pitcher, dammit -- but look at how wacky Ross's delivery used to be:


That's how I danced to Stetsasonic back in the day, but it's no way to throw a baseball. Here he is this year:


Much, much cleaner. The bad news is that someone in the Padres organization knows what they're doing, and they can take craggly stones and make them into polished gems.

The good news is that the Giants lost a stupid game tonight.

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