Matt Cain didn't have his fastball tonight. He had *a* fastball, it just wasn't his. It belonged to the Marlins' hitters for a while there, jumping off their bats over the right field walls at good ol' AT&T Park. Like they had loaned it to him, or even did the major league equivalent of asking for slow baby bouncies.
Good ol' Matt Cain was nowhere to be found in this first few innings. Dave Righetti jogged out there a couple of times tonight asking the same question we all asked our TVs or mobile devices: "Where's Matt?" He had a slider and a changeup and the Giants' bats, though, and they covered for him until he could finally locate that fastball and return to being flyball out-recording Matthew Thomas Cain. And by the time he had left the mound in the eighth, all doubt had receded into the back of your mind because you were thinking, "Wow, he made it into the eighth." The Marlins have had a knack for walking into the park and smacking the Giants around to the point that our favorite baseball team stops looking like our favorite baseball team.
Derek Dietrich's first inning home run looked like a "cheapie", the kind everyone in the baseball world feared would become commonplace thanks to AT&T Park's short porch. Garret Jones' follow-up homer in the second was not a "cheapie" and was the result of a location mistake on a fastball that provided us with a good glimpse at what ailed Matt Cain in the early innings. But then there was Michael Morse's dinger into the right field seats. And then there was Buster Posey smashing doubles to right center field. The Giants
' hitters left 21 on base left 9 runners on base and were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. But they scored six runs! From Matt Cain overcoming his struggles to the Giants coming back with the bats, there was nothing cheap about tonight.
And if global warming has turned AT&T Park into a hitter's park then so be it. I mean, it's sad that global climate change will probably mean the 2118 San Francisco Giants will play game nine of the Galactic Series underwater, but what are you gonna do?
I mention the hitter's park thing because the ball was flying tonight. Yesterday, Grant asked us to
Imagine if Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence got hot at the same time.
Now, that might not be what's happening here. That's not necessarily how baseball's supposed to work. And the Giants can hit fastballs pretty well for the most part. They sure did see a lot of them tonight, too (all of Pence, Sandoval, and Morse's hits came off of fastballs). Tomorrow's game -- when the scouting report dictates that the Marlins adjust and throw more breaking balls and change ups -- might give us a better sampling of what's going on here. I always remain skeptical about hot streaks, but at the same time, maybe a healthy blast of fastballs might cure what's ailing two important bats in the lineup. And let's not forget about Morse, who just might be swinging himself into another power surge. Imagine if Pablo, Pence, and Morse got hot at the same time.
Imagine if Pablo, Pence, and Morse got hot at the same time.
* * *
* Tyler Colvin's extra base hits sure are nice. Can they find a suitable platoon mate for him until Belt returns?
* The Giants are 22-8 when they hit a home run.
* Angel Pagan's on base percentage is pushing .380.
* This is fun.