It started with a home run from Zack Cozart to lead off the game. Then a walk, followed by two doubles. In all, Cincinnati hung a 3-run 1st inning on Matt Cain. The Reds also reminded the Giants that shutting out a team with their firepower is not something to be taken for granted.
With the Giants’ 4-game shutout streak halted on the game’s very first pitch, the crowd settled into their seats hoping for a different kind of win. Instead, they found out what it was like to be on the opposite end of a shutout until the 9th inning, when Pablo Sandoval turned on a Mike Leake fastball and sent it into the right-center portion of the arcade. Leake, who infamously got caught trying to shoplift six t-shirts at Macy’s, still threw the first complete game of his career.
Other than that blast, the Giants couldn’t get out of their own way, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and grounding into two double plays (one traditional, the other stemming from Sandoval’s strange decision to grab Cozart’s ankle after sliding past him at second base, which led to an argument won by Dusty Baker). But on a team carried by its pitching, the Giants seemed doomed (and a little down) from the moment Cain looked fallible.
“Matty was a little off today. A little out of sync. Had trouble getting the ball where he wanted. Ball seemed like it was moving a lot, but it was moving over the middle of the plate,” Bruce Bochy said.
Cain was very upset following this one. He’s never a very cheery guy after a loss (no starting pitcher is), but giving up a home run to the opposing pitcher was a tough blow — even though Leake now has 2 home runs on the year and is hitting .357. Cain bristled when the subject of Leake’s home run was brought up by a reporter, not wanting to revisit a painful subject. Then he (calmly) vented a little.
“Definitely not happy about that,” Cain said. “He’s a good hitting pitcher. He does a good job of obviously working at it between starts, because he hits every year. But you’re never happy with yourself if you give up a home run to a pitcher.”
Just like the Giants had very little time to savor their shutout streak in Friday night’s game, they face a quick turnaround before Barry Zito faces a familiar nemesis tomorrow afternoon — Mat Latos. Tomorrow will also mark the reunion of the 2002 San Francisco Giants, which probably explains why I saw Marvin Benard talking on the phone in Happy Donuts at the corner of 3rd and King when I arrived here at 4 pm this afternoon.