Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday's game was particularly infuriating because Bochy trotted a clearly fatigued Lincecum back out to pitch the seventh inning, and things promptly went straight to hell. Lincecum's velocity was down, he had no control, Merkin Valdez came in and, before you could howl, "Sergio Romo, where are you?", the game was tied and all momentum was with the Mets.
After two innings of heretofore typically brilliant relief work by Jeremy Affeldt, the Giants' appointed "best reliever" came in and literally threw the game down the left field line. Memo to Brian Wilson: The badass closer look, with the mohawk and the tats and all, works as long as you're blowing high cheese by batters and making them quiver in their britches at home plate. Until then, you just look like a fucking idiot.
Matt Cain played the stopper Sunday, running his record to 4-1, as he's seemingly getting the run support he's long deserved. Ironic, because he's probably pitching as bad as he has since he came up. His K/BB rate is easily his career worst and his strikeouts are way down. Even in Sunday's ballgame, he walked five guys and had runners crawling all over the bases. In his walktastic second inning, the Giants seemed destined for a depressing repeat of the previous three games, but Cain got a double play to escape a potential disaster. So for a guy whose career has been rife with bad luck, it's amazing how suddenly the leprechauns have taken a shine to him.
Some probably look at Cain's bad peripheral numbers and his glistening 2.65 ERA and say that this tower of blocks is perilously close to tumbling. Fair enough, but perhaps his ability to squirm out of trouble is a testament to his superior stuff. Cain has always been tough to hit, and guys with good stuff generally have lower BABIPs simply because they give up less line drives. So maybe he's better suited to getting out of jams than your everyday Joe? Does that make the abundance of baserunners okay? I don't know, but darn it, it'd be so much easier to watch if he'd just stop walking people.