The San Francisco Giants continued their run woes on Wednesday night. Despite scoring eight runs, the Pittsburgh Pirates feasted off Barry Zito and Ramon Ramirez for a season-high 12 runs.
Ramirez was designated for assignment on Thursday afternoon. Jake Dunning, a 24-year-old who had a 1.75 ERA at AAA Fresno, will fill the open roster spot. The Giants optioned George Kontos on Wednesday, so it’s been a transaction-filled week, at least for the middle relief corps.
Brett Pill was also optioned prior to the game. Pill, mainly brought up to hit left-handers, rarely played because Brandon Belt, a lefty hitter, hits southpaws well. So it wasn’t really a platoon.
Hector Sanchez, who was sent down in May to get consistent at-bats, will take Pill’s roster spot. In 50 at-bats with the Grizzlies, he hit .320 with four doubles a home run. His shoulder is also healthy.
Since the Giants will play 36 games in 37 days leading up to the All-Star break in July, three catchers will give Bruce Bochy some options. Or more specifically, it will keep Buster Posey fresh.
As for the actual game, Matt Cain takes the ball in the one-year anniversary of his perfect game against the Houston Astros. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his last outing, which was in Arizona.
But consistency remains a problem for Cain. He has followed a good start, bad start pattern for the majority of the year, which is why his ERA still sits at 5.09 in mid-June.
Charlie Morton, who is making his season debut, will oppose Cain. Morton underwent Tommy John surgery on June 14, 2012, so his start falls a day short of that dreaded anniversary.