Brandon Belt

Giants’ pen picks up Mr. Perfect

Tough to blame Matt Cain if he were a little tired on Monday night. And it doesn’t matter how “focused” or “unflappable” Cain is, to react as if his first post-perfection start was no big thing would make him a robot. There’s no one in the world who can accept a samurai sword AND do David Letterman’s Top Ten List in the same afternoon and get up to face Mark Trumbo hours later.

Luckily for Cain, the offense mustered half the production they gave him on June 13 with 5 runs, including three more hits for Melky Cabrera and Brandon Belt’s big day. Belt, the guy who didn’t know better than to sit in Cain’s spot on the bench after the seventh inning of the perfect game, reached base four times to push his on-base percentage to .379.

But the bullpen. They made up for their lack of production the last time Cain started, didn’t they? They didn’t pull their weight on Wednesday, but starting with the guy (Shane Loux) who secretly warmed up in the ninth inning on that historic night.

To get an idea of how good this Giants pitching staff is (yeah, yeah, besides the skinny guy who can’t throw strikes or focus in the stretch), check out the two columns on the right.

That’s a filthy set of WHIPs and ERAs, isn’t it? Forget for a second that there are a million other statistics now to judge pitchers; when you trot out five pitchers in a game, and the guy with the worst numbers has an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 1.26, your team can pitch.

Loux (who’ll flash a little power during batting practice, if you care) isn’t overpowering, but is slowly gaining the confidence of his manager. Sergio Romo threw a slider to Torii Hunter on Monday night that will keep him from signing a National League contract at the end of his career with any team other than the Giants. Jeremy Affeldt didn’t hurt himself. Santiago Casilla is now tied for the National League lead in saves.

12 up, 12 down.

Melky Cabrera’s also in the zone where he needs 2 hits per day to keep his average stable, but he got 3 on Monday. So did Ryan Theriot, who has somehow stolen 7 bases in the last 13 games after swiping 8 bags (and getting caught 9 times in the process) in 2010-11.

But back to Cain, via Alex Pavlovic’s postgame report:

Cain took a hard grounder off his left wrist in the fourth inning but found a way to get the force at home. Bochy said they think he’ll be fine and will check on him in the morning.

“He’s so tough,” Bochy said. “He kept his wits about him and made a great play at home.”

When Cain was talking to the media, a reporter noticed a dark mark on his left wrist. “Oh, no,” Cain said. “That’s a waffle burn.”

Cain was reaching for something in his kitchen last week when he touched up against the waffle maker. But it gave catcher Buster Posey quite a scare when he came out to check on Cain after the shot up the middle.

Touched up against the waffle maker, huh? By the sounds of things the two pitchers in the photo above are the last players the Giants probably want sword-fighting.

Here was Cain’s Top Ten list from Letterman (what he wants to achieve after his perfect game):

10: Throw a perfect game with my other arm
9: Convert the mound into an organic vegetable garden
8: Discover a cure for groin pulls
7: Open my dream salon
6: Catch a line drive with my mouth
5: Fix the economy … Just kidding. That’s impossible
4: Pitch an inning without my pants
3: Appear on Jay Leno’s Ten at Ten
2: Throw a hole in one
1: Win the contest to replace Regis Philbin

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