Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for the San Francisco Giants, a new low hits. Matt Cain exited the game in the fourth inning and the bullpen fell through in the Giants’ 10-5 loss to the Pirates on Thursday night.
After allowing one run in the first inning, Cain gave up solo home runs to Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer in the second. Jones’ splash hit was the 28th by an opponent and second by a Pirate. Cain wasn’t as sharp as he’d looked in his past several starts, but tonight’s outing was cut short due to other circumstances.
While Cain got through the third unscathed, he was drilled by a liner off the bat of Gaby Sanchez in the next inning. It only took a couple seconds before Dave Groeschner and Bruce Bochy pulled him from the game, and the Giants later announced Cain had a right elbow contusion with x-rays coming back negative.
After the game, manager Bruce Bochy reiterated the extent of the contusion, saying that Cain was pretty sore and would be for a while.
“The ball was smoked and it got him flush. He’s tough, but once you got out there you could see it starting to swell up,” he said.
As for Cain’s next start, Bochy said they won’t be waiting until the last minute to make a decision, and it sounds like he’ll be skipped in the rotation.
“We’re not going to take any chances. He’s going to have to have a tremendous recovery and not feel anything. there’s the possibility we might just skip him and not take any chances.”
Between the way Bochy handled Cain’s contusion and the Giants’ season, it’s likely that San Francisco will skip the next start for Cain to give him a bit more rest.
The game had been close when Cain exited. It fell apart once the bullpen took over. Guillermo Moscoso retired the Pirates in the fourth but couldn’t get an out in the fifth, allowing three runs to score before being replaced by Jose Mijares, who then allowed four earned runs of his own. The seven-run fifth-inning put the game away for the Pirates, who held onto their lead in the National League Central.
The only offense for the Giants came in the third and fourth innings, thanks to a sacrifice fly from Buster Posey and two-run double off the bat of Marco Scutaro. Scutaro’s double was just his third of the month and tied the game, but the Pirates broke it open in the next inning.
Brett Pill went 3-for-4 with a double on Thursday night. He didn’t get too much activity in the field, however, and Bochy said to look for Roger Kieschnick out in left field tomorrow.
Tomorrow the Giants face the Pirates for Game 2 of this four game weekend series. Madison Bumgarner (11-7, 2.82 ERA) will take on Charlie Morton (4-3, 3.67 ERA)