Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 NL West Forks, Revisited

May 19, 2013: SoSG (channeling Eric Stpehen of TBLA): Stick a fork in the 2013 Dodgers.

July 11, 2013: ESPN's David Schoenfield: Stick a fork in the 2013 Giants:

Matt Cain threw 36 pitches on Wednesday afternoon, most of them ineffective. He faced seven batters, walked three of them, allowed hits to two more of them, threw just 18 strikes and got yanked before the San Francisco Giants even batted.

When manager Bruce Bochy walked out to the mound in the top of the first inning to pull Cain, the exasperation must have been felt throughout AT&T Park. It was certainly seen on Cain's face, his hat tilted up high on his forehead, a look of disbelief and maybe confusion, a silent hand-off of the ball to Bochy, the Giants' season encapsulated in his slow trudge to the dugout. What happened?

Giants fans were too nice to boo; they offered a little polite clapping, but maybe they sensed the symbolism of the moment: The Giants' season is over. There will be no back-to-back to titles, no more talk of a baseball dynasty, no deadline deals to improve the team for this season. The Giants are 40-50 after losing 7-2 to the New York Mets, in last place and bad. The Giants just got swept at home by the Mets, haven't won two games in a row since June 19, have lost 19 of their past 24 and have been outscored by 51 runs on the season, 13th-worst in the National League.

As for Cain, the only previous start in his career in which he had pitched less than two innings was a 2009 game in which he left in the second after getting hit with a line drive. The hit that knocked him out in Wednesday's game was John Buck's bases-loaded flare to center to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. But Bochy had seen enough. "He was disappointed to come out, but I had to make the call," Bochy said. "He's fine, but I didn't want it to become an issue. He was going on 40 pitches there and I didn't want to push him through again."

See, it's all good, SF! Don't let Cain's six-year, $127.5M contract through 2017 worry you based on one little outing! It's not like you're inexperienced in that area.