San Francisco Giants

Cain Falters Again As Giants Drop Game One

Matt Cain was crushed for the second straight start and the offense offered him no support as the Giants dropped the opener to the Padres 6-0.

San Diego got on the board first, scoring three runs in the fourth inning against the Giants starter. With one out, Everth Cabrera and Seth Smith hit back-to-back singles before Carlos Quentin lined out to Pablo Sandoval, who made a diving grab. The next batter, Yasmani Grandal, launched a ball to the wall in right-center. It was initially ruled a three-run homer, but Hunter Pence emphatically argued that a fan had reached over the wall and interfered and, after a review, it was ruled a double and Smith was ordered to go back to third. Padres manager Bud Black argued that Smith should’ve been allowed to score and was ejected from the game for his, um, choice words with the umpire.

It seemed like Cain would limit the damage just one run, but a two-out double by Tommy Medica scored the two runners anyway, and it was 3-0.

San Diego piled it on in the eighth against Cain (1-6), adding three more runs and putting the game out of reach for the Giants. Pinch-hitter Jake Goebbert, Will Venable, and Cabrera hit back-to-back-to-back singles, and a throwing error by Pence allowed an extra run to score. Javier Lopez came in to relieve Cain and gave up an RBI double to Smith, and it was 6-0 Padres.

It was another rough outing for the Giants right-hander, as he surrendered six runs on seven hits over seven-and-a-third innings. He walked one and struck out seven on 102 pitches (73 strikes) and, after his last outing against the White Sox where he allowed eight runs in five innings, his ERA is 4.82. He now has just three quality starts in 12 chances this season. He’s also received just six runs of support over his last five starts, but he’s not concerned with his personal numbers.

“I’m not worried about it. I’ve got to worry about going out there and giving these guys a chance to win, and what my record is and what my numbers look like, it doesn’t matter.”

Does Cain feel like he’s getting closer to his former self on the mound?

“Yeah. I’m not concerned about throwing the right pitch at the right time. I feel like I’m doing that. It’s just making sure that you make the pitch in the right location at times and get those guys to keep the ball on the ground and work it that way.”

The Giants line-up simply could not figure out San Diego starter Odrisamer Despaigne (1-0), who was making his Major League debut in place of Andrew Cashner, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder earlier on Monday. The rookie was sensational against San Francisco, tossing seven shut-out innings, allowing no walks and striking out one on 86 pitches, 59 strikes. Despaigne is also just the second Cuban-born player to pitch for San Diego. Bruce Bochy was impressed with the youngster, but says that hitting against a new pitcher is no excuse for the lack of offense.

“We had some information on him, we had some video…that’s no excuse. He’s got to go around the order again, and then a third time, so they’re getting a look at him. I thought he threw well, you can’t take that away from him. He was getting the ball where he wanted it. If you can locate both sides of the plate, have a two-seamer, and a cutter, and mix enough slow curveballs from different angles, you’re probably gonna have success.”

With the Dodgers losing earlier in the day, San Francisco’s four-game lead in the National League West remains intact, but the team continues to struggle against struggling teams. They’re now 18-18 against teams below .500 (the Padres are 33-44) and 27-13 against teams with winning records. The Giants are also now 13-21 when they don’t score first.

San Francisco sends their right-handed ace to the mound on Tuesday as Tim Hudson (7-3, 2.39) will take on another San Diego rookie in Jesse Hahn (2-1, 2.16). First pitch is at 7:15.

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