Madison Bumgarner threw a one hit gem in last night’s 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, and Matt Cain will have to top that performance? Oh, and Matt, you’re the only Giants pitcher that hasn’t contributed to this shutout streak, yet.
P.S- Matt, you are also looking to lead the Giants to their fifth straight win, a season high.
However, Matt Cain is not one to crumble under pressure. Despite allowing just one earned run in his last start against the A’s on Sunday, his eight game winning streak came to a stunning end as closer Santiago Casilla served up a walk-off homerun to A’s rookie Derek Norris in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Despite that loss, the Giants continue to play their very best when the “horse” is pitching, posting a 9-1 record in Cain’s last ten outings. But more importantly, Cain has come out with a victory in each of his last four outings at AT&T Park. Meanwhile, the Giants are thriving at home as well, recording a 19-7 record in their last 26 home games.
The Reds were able to knock Cain around a bit back on April 24th in Cincinnati however. He gave up three earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched, his effort led to a 9-2 beating, taxing the Giants’ bullpen.
Two particular Reds seem to see the ball extremely well off the Giants’ right-hander. In 19 at-bats, Ryan Ludwick has hit three homeruns off the longest tenured Giant. Brandon Phillips has hit two in 26 at-bats. Let’s see how they fare in the spacious AT&T Park.
Despite some hiccups against the Reds, Cain is 5-0 in his last five starts against foes from the National league Central, obviously not including the April 24th beating.
Meanwhile, the Giants offense continues to come up with timely hits led from their core of Ryan Theriot, hitting .321 in June, Melky Cabrera who leads the majors in hits with 108, Buster Posey who looks to be the starting catcher for the all-star game and Pablo Sandoval who’s finally caught fire after missing about a month of action. In fact, that core might be a group that Mike Leake should avoid tonight, as Cabrera, Posey, and Sandoval are a combined 9-12 lifetime off the Red’s right-hander.
The hot hitting bats on the Giants’ lineup will face Mike Leake who is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco. Leake also boasts a 2.82 ERA over his last eight starts, however, he has only recorded two wins during that span thanks to some great help from his bullpen….not.
Brandon Phillips remains questionable after having lingering affects of getting hit in the head on Thursday. The Reds will play it safe, though.