Cardinals Pound Cain In Third Inning, Take Game 1 Of Doubleheader


It was a weird afternoon for Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants, as the St.Louis Cardinals prevailed 8-0.

The raw stats indicate that Cain got, well, rocked. He gave up seven runs over six innings, walking none and striking out a season-high nine batters. However, all seven of those runs were scored in the third inning, and all nine of the Cardinals’ hits off Cain came in the third inning as well. So, outside of the third, Cain pitched a perfect game.

June 1, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) is congratulated by catcher Tony Cruz (48) after scoring on a single by first baseman Matt Adams (not pictured) off of San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) during the third inning of game one of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

But that one disaster of an inning put the Giants in a huge hole against Shelby Miller, who has been the Cardinals’ ace in 2013.

Six of St.Louis’s nine hits in the third were singles. Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Matt Adams and Daniel Descalso all collected RBI singles. Three of those were with two outs. Tony Cruz one-hopped the center field fence with a two-run double.

The Cardinals went 8-for-10 against Cain when he was in the stretch and 1-for-16 when he was in the windup. After the game, manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, that Cain wasn’t tipping his pitches.

Of course, this hiccup came after Cain yielded a nine-run inning to these very same Cardinals on April 7. So, there’s naturally going to be some speculation. Outside of those two innings, however, Cain’s done well against the best team in the major leagues.

Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area crunched the numbers:

Cain’s season ERA climbed to 5.45, which is the eighth-highest figure in baseball.

Shelby Miller pitched seven innings of scoreless baseball. The Giants’ offense put only three runners in scoring position against the rookie right-hander, who struck out seven and walked one.

San Francisco’s best chance to get to Miller came when Andres Torres and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back singles in the seventh, but Nick Noonan softly lined out, Brett Pill popped out and Gregor Blanco grounded out as Miller escaped his only real high-pressure situation of the day.

The Cardinals tacked on one more run in the eighth off George Kontos.