Cain looks sharp as bats go silent
AT&T PARK — Matt Cain bounced back Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, but the Giants couldn’t muster any run support.
After a rough outing against the Dodgers, Cain pitched seven strong innings allowing four hits, one earned run, three walks and striking out eight.
Though Cain (0-2) was stellar, the Rockies pitchers — all half a dozen of them — were even more so, stifling the Giants’ bats in a 1-0 win.
The Rockies scored first on a sacrifice fly by Troy Tulowitzki in the third inning. Charlie Blackmon led off the inning with a walk and went to second after Brandon Barnes hit a seeing-eye single that dribbled into right field.
Cain got Carlos Gonzalez to strike out for the first out, but Blackmon stole third on a double steal with Barnes. Tulowitzki got up and drove the ball just deep enough in right field to bring in Blackmon.
That was all the Rockies needed.
The Giants looked lost at the plate all day, despite starter Brett Anderson leaving after only three innings with a left finger contusion.
Tommy Kahnle (2-0) came in for Anderson, pitching two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
San Francisco could only notch three hits against the Rockies, whose bullpen was lights out. They pitched five innings of two-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts. LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth to lock down his second save of the season.
Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged some frustration with his team’s bats:
“We have two or three guys who aren’t swinging the bat like they can. … They’re good hitters, they’ll come around. The numbers will be up there at the end of the day. It would be nice to get them going now though.”
Pablo Sandoval went 1-for-4 with some solid contact and a couple nice putouts at third base. This is a welcome sight for Giants fans, since he entered the game batting .143 with three errors in the field.
Sandoval also struck out in a big spot in the eighth when the Giants needed him most, with the bases loaded and two outs.
Bochy addressed Sandoval being in a contract year before Saturday’s game. Bochy said things like contracts can affect some players’ performance:
“It can be. One thing you don’t want Pablo to do is to get away from the game the way he normally plays it … You think about the contract, the money, it’s a distraction. He assured me it’s not.”
When asked if he thought the pressure would fade throughout the course of the season, Bochy simply put:
“I certainly hope so.”
The Giants will look to bounce back in Sunday’s rubber match. Tim Hudson (2-0, 1.15 ERA) will go against righty Tyler Chatwood in his first start coming off the disabled list.