Advantage Cain? You betcha.
For the first time this season, the talented righthander showed the poise of a much more veteran pitcher and pitched seven strong innings as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Mets 6-2 in front of a rather modest but boisterous crowd at AT&T Park.
Other than Cain’s outing (five hits allowed, two earned runs, and no walks), perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the victory was that the Giants took advantage of walks issued to Barry Bonds, as the other superstar in the lineup, Moises Alou, more than picked up the slack every time by driving in all of his five runs after a Bonds base on balls.
With two outs and Omar Vizquel on first in the first inning, Glavine elected to walk Barry Bonds to put two runners on and bring Alou to the plate. The Mets’ plan quickly backfired, as Alou parked a no-doubt home run deep over the left-center field wall for a 3-0 Giants lead.
Glavine would later settle down and pitch effectively into the seventh inning, but he could not match Cain, who completely silenced the powerful Mets lineup in order for the first five innings, 15 up and 15 down. That the Mets even scored in the sixth inning was largely due to a needless pickoff attempt gone wrong by the young Cain, which allowed Kaz Matsui to take second after singling to lead off the inning. The next batter, Endy Chavez, then hit a ground out to second that could have negated both runners were it not for the error, but instead advanced Matsui to third, and after a strikeout by Glavine, leadoff hitter Jose Reyes then beat out an infield single to score Matsui. Giant-killer Paul Lo Duca would single to drive in Reyes for the second run, but that would essentially be it for the Mets’ bats.
The Giants would get these two runs back and then some, capping the scoring in the seventh. After a pinch-hit leadoff single by Jason Ellison and a one-out walk by Vizquel, Lance Niekro’s single plated Ellison for a 4-2 Giants lead. Bonds again was walked intentionally, and again set the stage for Alou, who would again not disappoint. The right fielder’s solid single brought home Vizquel and Niekro, and the Giants never looked back.
Some Giants fans probably grew a bit nervous after Cain’s exit from the game in the seventh, but the much maligned bullpen held the line, as Tim Worrell in the eighth and Scott Munter in the ninth pitched without much incident, preserving a well-earned victory for Cain and the rest of the orange and black.
SFDugout’s Player of the Game: A real toss-up between Cain and Alou, so why not both? Cain surprised most by shutting down a potent Mets lineup in rather convincing fashion, and Alou made the Mets pay for walking No. 25 with 5 RBIs. All in a good evening’s work, gentlemen.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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