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Matt Cain proves beatable in postseason for first time

Oct 7, 2012, 1:18 AM EDT

Matt Cain, Jay Bruce Getty Images

The Giants were so dominant in the 2010 postseason that Matt Cain had no chance to match Cole Hamels‘ feat from 2008. Hamels went 4-0 and his team won all five of his starts as the Phillies marched to a World Series victory.

Cain, on the other hand, pitched just three times as the Giants cleaned up two years ago. Starting once each series, he allowed only one unearned run over 21 1/3 innings as San Francisco won its championship.

Until now, that was the only time the Giants had reached the postseason in Cain’s seven big-league seasons, meaning Cain entered his Game 1 start tonight with a 0.00 ERA. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for long. Cain left a curveball up to Brandon Phillips in the third, and Phillips deposited it into the stands in left for a two-run homer. In the fourth, Jay Bruce was able to yank a changeup out to right, making it 3-0.

With the Giants yet to score, Cain was removed for a pinch-hitter after five. He was at just 75 pitches and likely would have been good for two more innings, but this is the postseason and the Giants needed offense. They went on to lose 5-2.

For Cain, it was the first time he allowed two homers since the July 21. It happened five times during the regular season, yet two of those five outings came against the Reds.

The early exit makes Cain a candidate to come back and pitch Game 4 on short rest. The Giants haven’t announced their starters beyond Madison Bumgarner on Sunday, but expectations were that it’d be Tim Lincecum in Game 3 and Barry Zito in Game 4. Cain in Game 4 now seems a whole lot more likely, particularly if the Giants are down 2-1.

But that probably doesn’t scare the Reds. Cain has allowed 11 runs over 18 innings the three times he’s faced Cincinnati this year. While he’s plenty good, he suddenly appears vulnerable.

  1. mgflolox - Oct 7, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    The Reds have had his number all season, and Jay Bruce just owns him. It happens sometimes. I still think this series goes 5.

  2. stercuilus65 - Oct 7, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Giants suck, that is all…

  3. delawarephilliesfan - Oct 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    “The Giants were so dominant in the 2010 postseason that Matt Cain had no chance to match Cole Hamels‘ feat from 2008. Hamels went 4-0 and his team won all five of his starts as the Phillies marched to a World Series victory.

    Cain, on the other hand, pitched just three times as the Giants cleaned up two years ago.”

    Wrong. Hamels got 5 starts becuase he was the #1 pitcher, not becuse the Phillies needed more games. Cain was the Giants #3

    2008 Phillies: 3-1 NLDS, 4-1 NLCS, 4-1 World Series

    2010 Giants: 3-1 NLDS, 4-2 NLCS, 4-1 World Series

  4. tomdigi - Oct 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    do the people writing for this blog know anything about baseball? like the other guy said, you don’t know what you’re talking about. all you do is troll the Phillies. get some knowledge before you write a blog post

  5. Fink - Oct 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    “Cain in Game 4 now seems a whole lot more likely, particularly if the Giants are down 2-1.”

    Wishful thinking on your part, Pouliot…. however, with Cain out of the way, it’s gonna be time to bring out the brooms once the teams get to Cincy. Sorry to break that news to ya. :)

  6. totallysirius - Oct 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    With all around exceptional pitching including a lights-out bullpen and outstanding defense, the Reds will close the deal in 3

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