Tuesday night opened the final homestand of the season for the San Francisco Giants (72-85) against rivals and 2013 NL West Champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-66).
It was your typical Giants vs. Dodgers game, with a low score of 2-1 and pitching duels, but in the end, the Giants were handed their 85th loss of the season. Starting pitcher, Matt Cain (8-10, 4.00 ERA), once again, took the loss for the game . He gave up two runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over seven innings. Both runs were homers from Yasiel Puig in the fifth inning and then from Matt Kemp in the sixth inning.
Giants Manager, Bruce Bochy, was impressed with Cain’s pitching but the lack of offense throughout the line up caused another loss on his record.
“Cain pitched well, he pitched great, and the bullpen did a good job,” said Bochy, “We played well but we just couldn’t get the bats going and the runs on the board.”
The one run of the game for the Giants came from Tony Abreu in the fifth inning off of the Dodgers’ starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-7, 2.97 ERA).
With the season coming to a close, Bochy expects Cain to make one final start.
“Right now he [Cain] is scheduled to start and we’ll talk more about it,” continued Bochy, “He feels great and he’s healthy. More than likely he’ll have one more start.”
Cain is scheduled to start the season finale on Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Of course, you can’t talk about this game without mentioning the one name that now haunts Giants fans, Brian Wilson. Wilson made his AT&T Park debut in blue in the eighth inning for the Dodgers and was welcomed with a mixture of boos and cheers. The one inning he pitched, he shut down the Giants with two strikeouts. It was a weird sight for not only fans, but the players as well.
Tomorrow, fans were expecting to see Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 2.77 ERA) make the start but the Giants announced earlier Tuesday that Barry Zito (4-11, 5.91 ERA) would be replacing him on the hill, “shutting down” Bumgarner for the season.
“Tomorrow we are shutting down Madison to just give him a break. He’s had a great year and Zito will get the start,” said Bochy, “I wanted to give Zito one more start this homestand and looking at it we thought that tomorrow would be the best. He’s done a lot for us and we know what he did last year for us. He’s done everything we have asked of him and he’s been great about it. He deserves this.”
Also being “shut down” for the season is infielder Marco Scutaro, who is fighting a sore back and is going to be begin the process of straightening out his pinky finger with a splint. Bochy was grateful for all the hard work he has given the team even when it couldn’t have been easy for him.
With only five games left in the season, we can expect more Giants starters to be “shut down” and the possibility of watching three starting pitchers make their final starts as Giants. The final five starters haven’t been announced fully, but the Giants are looking to Zito and Tim Lincecum (10-14, 4.44 ERA) to make the next two starts against the Dodgers.