For one night at least, San Francisco Giants fans got to dream big like a Disney princess. And their dreams came true.
It all added up to a satisfying 6-2 home win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night inside a very damp and drafty AT&T Park.
There actually were hella worries going into tonight’s start. Things started off wonky for our dearest Cainer. A.J. Pollock, who greeted Cain with a leadoff homer in Cain’s first start of the year, was nicer this time and only hit a triple. Pollock scored on an ensuing sac fly to put Arizona up 19. Cain labored through 30 pitches before getting out of the inning.
Denard Span countered with a leadoff double, but the line movement went groundball, strikeout, ground ball to end the inning. As the great Carmen Kiew tweeted, it was “The most Giants thing ever.”
Then Cain very quietly got on the bump and dominated Arizona for four innings.
Between innings two through four, Cain set down nine in a row with six strikeouts. The only hit was a leadoff single in the second that was left stranded.
Cain’s movement on the two and four-seamer was explosive at times. He threw an eight-pitch fourth inning, using the fastball to set up two swinging-strikeouts with a curve and slider, respectively.
“He’s really been battling,” manager Bruce Bochy said in the postgame interview. “First game he was so-so. (Tonight he had) life on the fastball, the command, setting up his pitches. It was a great night for Matty.”
Heading to the fifth inning, the Giants were down 1-0. All I could think was “Cain might get Cained!” And that was a good thing. It meant he was pitching good and just was not getting any run support.
The big righty helped settle that injustice by roping a Shelby Miller fastball to the left center field gap for a one-out double in the fifth. Then, after grinding to a 3-2 count, Denard Span laced a single to easily score Cain from second and tie the game.
Hunter Pence and Conor Gillespie each provided RBI singles later in the inning to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.
Of course the clock struck midnight on Cain’s performance, with midnight being the sixth inning. A leadoff double and a walk brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Cain simply hasn’t had the recent track record to justify his spot in that situation. He got the hook.
Cory Gearrin stepped in and gave one of if not the best inning from the bullpen in this young season. Gearrin struck out the side with a dazzling arsenal of hard sliders and sinkers.
Parker Let’s It Go
Jarrett Parker hit it high and deep to centerfield just left of the Visa sign and wound up with a two-RBI triple. We really should stop saying “in any other park that’s a homerun” because honestly, we know it and it does us no good to continually plow that field.
But yeah, anywhere else, Parker has a dinger.
As impressive as that was, I really liked his approach in the sixth inning. With a lefty shift on, Parker squared up and got a soft single to left that would have otherwise been a double-play ball.
The overall sense of relief was palpable after the triple though. It was also nice to see the dreams of the offseason become a reality on the field for what felt like the first time this season.