Friday, April 13, 2012

Cain One-Hits Bucs in 5-0 Giant Romp

How bad can it get? Well, Matt Cain retired the first 17 batters he faced before the perfect game was ruined by James McDonald. Really, how much do the Pirates expect from their pitchers?

Sadly, J-Mac didn't toss quite as well as he hit. He struggled through the first frame, though he picked up the pace afterward.

With two away and Melky Cabrera on first after a one-out single, Buster Posey cracked a double to bring bring one run in on a tight play at the plate and Aubrey Huff lined a knock to right to make it 2-0. The next four innings went by innocently enough. The Giants never got a runner past first, and the Bucs never got a runner to first.

McDonald got the Buc's first knock in the sixth when he rolled one into left, and the G-Men answered by tacking on another run. Pablo Sandovel crushed a one-away two bagger to right on a ball that was nicely played by Garrett Jones to prevent even more problems. Posey flew out, and Huff was walked to get to Nate Schierholtz. Almost worked, too, but Cutch misjudged a short fly into center, first backpedaling on a ball that dropped in front of him, and it was 3-0.

Tony Watson came on to get the final out. McDonald went 5-2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks with a K after throwing 88 pitches.Evan Meek tossed a 1-2-3 seventh, and Hanny came on to knock off some rust in the eighth. He gave up a lead-off single to Cabrera, who two outs later was standing on third after a stolen base and wild pitch.

Hanrahan fell behind Huff 3-0 and fed him a couple of heaters. The first was a called strike, and the second was on the inside half of the plate above the knees and splashed down in McCovey Cove, making it 5-0. Cain just kept dicing Buccos, putting together a string of 10 straight outs after J-Mac's knock.

He finished with a one-hit shutout, punching out 11 Pirates on 106 pitches. Casey McGehee was the only Buc batter that had a clue today, twice driving deep outs into the forgiving center field of AT&T Park.

Pedro Alvarez and Jones went down three times, and Alex Presley and Neil Walker each whiffed twice. The Pirate pitchers continued a couple of disturbing trends, giving up first inning runs and two-out tallies. All five Giant runs came with two away.

Though not officially announced, it's expected the Pirates will throw Charlie Morton against Barry Zito tomorrow night. If so, a position player has to be taken off the big league roster and sent to Indy. And there are sure a lot of candidates to choose from.

  • If you're wondering, the last time the Pirates were no-hit was on August 14, 1971, by Card Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson at Three Rivers Stadium. He struck out 10 in a 11-0 victory.

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