If it’s taken this long to get the team to fire on all cylinders, and if it takes the kids to do it, the best interests are in the hands of those unexpected, and a few unwanted. And forgive the feeling of dragging on; Saturday’s game felt much longer than a nine-inning game should, and though the pace ended up in favor of the Giants, it had to be one of the more boring wins in team history.
If Cain was expected to follow his outstanding one-hit effort last weekend against Oakland, his counterpart Josh Fogg came into the game with little to look forward to, and not much more to build on. Fogg, who signed with Colorado in the offseason after considering a bullpen offer from the Giants, has a year Rockies pitchers are known for. He’s 3-3 with a 4.12 earned run average, seemingly prime for a repeat of the carnage of Friday night’s 9-0 destruction by the Giants. Perhaps the torpor of this game resulted from the fact that Fogg pitched decently over five innings, with no meltdown imminent.
Cain started the game off on the right foot by striking out four of the first six batters he faced, but while he had the velocity all night, his location was off. The tempo of the game may have rocked batters to sleep, as it took a decidedly slow turn not long thereafter.
Mike Matheny broke up the quick start for both pitchers with a leadoff double in the third inning. Cain struck out, then Randy Winn followed at bat. He reached first on an odd play; his hit to shortstop clipped Clint Barmes on the leg. Barmes was charged with an error, and Matheny scored.
Colorado catcher JD Closser made noise in one of his favorite ballparks. He’s 10 for 20 in SBC Park lifetime, and he threw out two runners trying to steal Saturday night, including Winn in the third and Omar Vizquel in the first. He also drove in the tying run for the Rockies in the fourth inning. Garrett Atkins stood on second after a one-out double and after Brad Hawpe struck out swinging, Closser singled to right field to score Atkins.
San Francisco answered with two runs in the home half of the inning. The obligatory Barry Bonds watch yielded one walk and a run scored. Ray Durham walked behind him and Pedro Feliz slammed a triple to get them both home. Both infielders were in the middle of the scoring in the sixth inning, with Durham’s leadoff ground rule double and Feliz’s single to left. Feliz was not credited with an RBI due to left fielder Eli Marrero’s fielding error, but he did make it to second on the throw.
Travis Ishikawa kept up the good kids’ karma with a shot into the gap in the fifth inning. He motored around to third on the hit, and while it was his only hit on the evening, it had to feel good for the young man just up from AA Connecticut.
The Giants bullpen had 3.1 innings to ruin everything for the effort Cain and friends put in, and for some reason, the collective work of Jeremy Accardo, Steve Kline and the aforementioned Benitez went well. No runs allowed and only two hits between the three, and all three had their stuff working. With Barry Bonds and Matt Cain, there’s a lot to watch for, so for the effective if dull night Cain had, and the lack of activity from the Bonds camp, the unexpected returns of an admittedly dull game turned out to be all right, after all.
SFDugout.com Player of the Game: Pedro Feliz could have had three RBI, but thanks to errors, the scorer credited him with all two of the official runs batted in. The 5-8 hitters had all five of the Giant hits, and Feliz had two. Feliz is hot since winning the NL Player of the Week, and he’s our Player of the Game.
Notes: Fogg’s day finally went one way, or the other. He’s had four no decisions this season. Fogg also lost for the first time in six decisions against San Francisco…Vizquel is batting .526 in his last six games, after going absolutely ice cold. This comes following his insane start to the season…Bonds’ biggest moment came on the ball he launched into McCovey Cove, about a hundred feet foul. The only man in the world who can be cheered for a foul ball.
Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom and first where she's had the honor to write for the Giants on SFDugout.com. Love/hate mail can be sent to email@example.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.
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