Posts Tagged ‘Matt Cain’

The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs have split the first two games of their May series, with the rubber match set for Sunday at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner will oppose Kyle Hendricks for the series win and bragging rights for the next three months, until the two teams meet again the first three days of September.

The series thus far represents the best argument that the National League can present for avoiding the designated hitter. Not only did Jake Arrieta single in the first run of the Cubs’ 8-1 win on Friday night, Matt Cain doubled in the first two runs on Saturday night, en route to a 5-3 Giants win.
Cain’s hit was the first for him in 46 plate appearances, but Giants pitchers overall have thirteen runs batted in, leading the Cubs in this department by four runs. In comparison the last-place Atlanta Braves have had two RBIs contributed by pitchers.

That helps explain why both the Cubs and Giants occupy first place in their respective divisions, and is not so much a diss on Atlanta. The reality is that pitchers are not traditionally expected to do anything beyond pitch; some managers will not even allow their pitchers to either swing a bat, or run out a ground ball.

In assessing the upcoming series Friday afternoon, prior to the start of the first game, I pointed out to Big Jack on SportsTimeRadio that the pitching matchups that were in place would never be duplicated during a playoff run. Jake Peavy versus Jake Arrieta? I don’t think so.
Matt Cain versus Jon Lester? This is not much better but the Giants were able to rise to the occasion and get to Lester early. These lopsided pairings do provide some entertaining outcomes, but there is simply too much on the table during the playoffs to allow them.

To a certain extent, Kyle Hendricks opposing Madison Bumgarner is a similar David/Goliath confrontation, with MadBum having won his last four starts, while Hendricks is 1-3 in his last six. To his credit Hendricks has a 2.74 ERA during the stretch and has allowed only two home runs all season.
Because I have been promoting the notion that the Cubs and Giants are destined to meet in October, I am more apt to think in terms of the big picture. Realistically, Arrieta is on another plane, with his string of 22 consecutive [regular season] starts, allowing three runs or less.

The run is impressive from so many different perspectives, it boggles the mind. That being said, it must also be pointed out that the playoffs cannot be compared to the regular season, because Jake the Great will not face Jake the Terrible, as he did Friday night.

No, Jake the Great will oppose MadBum, if there is any possible way that Bruce Bochy can make it happen. Johnny Cueto will face Jon Lester and oh yeah, there’s that Jeff Samardzija guy probably going up against Jason Hammel. That way, with the pitching more equitable, other components of the game will have to determine the outcome.

Both Chicago and San Francisco have impressive defensive numbers, with the Giants having committed a total of 19 errors for the season, while the Cubs have racked up 23. Neither team has been assessed an error during the current series.

Everything being magnified during October, it could be a Brandon Crawford/Addison Russell gem, or a player-yet-to-be-determined’s error that hands the victory to Arrieta or Bumgarner.

There is no way to quantify experience, except to count the number of championship rings that the individual players wear. Those who have spent more time under the magnifying glass that is October, will be better prepared to handle the pressure.
I am not one to make bold predictions; I told Dan that I did not see a sweep in store for the current series but that on paper the Cubs were clear favorites. They have an astonishing road record of 15-6.

I said that if the Giants could bag one of the first two games, by any means possible, they would stand a good chance of being able to take the series. I would not have thought that Lester would prove to be the weak link, but it is immaterial. It only takes one.  Jake Peavy is the Giants’ weak link.

Sunday night, once more on national television, we will get to see the finale. I might be inclined to give the nod to San Francisco but recent history suggests I not.

Kyle Hendricks is said to have gathered up a whole slew of stones to go with his sling, so maybe I’ll just hold off on the prediction and say,



Cubs get Cain’ed

Posted: May 21, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio
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Game 2 in San Fran puts the 4 and 2, Jon Lester against the winless Matt Cain and the best in the west, Giants.  Dexter Fowler would lead off his third game with a single but would be thrown out trying to steal second base.  Kris Bryant would single also but Cain would get out of the inning.  Lester would put Denard Span on with a base on balls, but he would get out of the inning.  Cain would put two men on but neither would cross the plate.  Lester would get the first two batters in the bottom half of the second but would give up a single to Brandon Crawford.  Then he walks Gregor Blanco.  Two men on with the Cain at the plate.  With a 3-2 count, Matt sends a long fly ball just out of reach for Fowler sending both men across the plate giving Cain a double.  Span K’s to end the inning but the Giants are up by 2.  

With one out in the top of 3, Kris Bryant on a 3 and 2 count would send a long fly ball over Span’s head for his ninth homer of the year.  Zobrist would single and Soler would walk but with two outs Javier Baez would fly out.  Joe Panik would lead off the bottom half with a double to left field.  He would move to third on Kelby Tomlinson’s sac bunt that Bryant would pick up and throw to Rizzo.  Buster Posey who at the moment is 1 and 25 takes Lester deep to left center breaking his slump and getting his 5th home run of the year.  Matt Duffy sends a line grounder to Addison Russell that bounces off him to left field.  He would then steal second base.  Trevor Brown would double to left scoring Duffy.  Maddon challenges the tag and it’s overturned giving Brown an RBI single.  Crawford would walk prompting Maddon to visit the mound replacing Lester with Trevor Cahill who gets out of the inning.  Giants up 5 to 1.  Matt Cain would continue to hold the Cubs to 1 run through 6.  

Trevor Cahill would put two runners on in the fourth but would get through the fourth and the fifth.  Clayton Richard would come into the bottom of the sixth for a 1-2-3 inning. Hunter Strickland enters the top of the seventh getting the first two batters out but gives up a single to Fowler and walks Bryant.  Josh Osich would come into the game and strikes out Rizzo to end the inning.  Justin Grimm enters the bottom half and puts Tomlinson and Posey on but after a visit to the mound, gets out of the inning.  

Osich still in gets an out but gives up a double to Soler.  Bruce Bochy decides to go with Cory Gearrin, who gives up an RBI single to Baez.  Russell grounds out.  With two outs Tommy La Stella comes into the game pinch hitting for David Ross and reaches first on a walk.  Bochy makes another change bringing in Javier Lopez to face Tim Federowicz to end the inning. Cubs 2, Giants 5.  

Travis Wood comes into the game giving up a single to Crawford but gets out of the inning unscathed.  Dexter Fowler leads off the top of the ninth against Santiago Casilla sending his 5th home run of the season to right.  Casilla would thrn it around and get Bryant, Rizzo and Zobrist to go down in order to end the game, 5-3 Giants.  

The Podcast


Big Jack and I began Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio at the open of the 2012 MLB season and it was only fitting that we predict who we thought is going to win the major titles. With the end of the season creeping on us, here is our picks:

Big Jack
NL Champ — San Francisco Giants
ALChamp — California (Anaheim) Angels *
AL MVP — Miguel Cabrera
NL MVP — Andrew McCutchen
AL Cy Young — Jarod Weaver
NL Cy Young — Roy Halladay

Daniel K.
NL Champ — Philadelphia Phillies
ALChamp — Texas Rangers *
AL MVP — Prince Fielder
NL MVP — Matt Kemp
AL Cy Young — C C Sabathia
NL Cy Young — Doc Hallady

Mr Fantasy
NL Champ — L A Dodgers
ALChamp — Texas Rangers
AL MVP — Ian Kinsler
NL MVP — Matt Kemp
AL Cy Young — Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young — Matt Cain

* World Series Winner

With looking at the numbers Sunday September 23, 2012, Big Jack & I agreed that Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey should win their leagues MVP awards. We will definitely break down the 2013 season more in depth but I’ve gone record to say its the Dodgers year in 2013 but we’ll discuss that later.