San Francisco Giants Morning Minute: Cain’s Bad Luck Tour Continues

May 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) on the bench in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) on the bench in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

On this edition of the San Francisco Giants Morning Minute, we discuss Cain’s continued bad luck, Suarez impressing again, and the missing offense.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Good morning, San Francisco Giants’ fans, and welcome to another edition of the Giants Morning Minute. On Friday, the Giants had their five-game winning streak snapped by the Colorado Rockies, as they fell in a 5-2 ballgame. Tyler Chatwood was the winning pitcher, while Albert Suarez took his first career big league loss. Jake McGee earned his 14th save of the season.

The Giants are 30-20 on the season, and their .600 winning percentage keeps them atop the National league West. The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the New York Mets on a walk-off, so they were unable to cut into their 4.5-game deficit in the division. The Rockies are still in third place, 5.5 games back.

Here’s what went on Friday night.

1 – The Matt Cain Bad Luck Tour Continues

Things have been looking up for Cain in his last few starts. He entered Friday’s game with three consecutive very strong starts, pitching to the tune of a 1.71 ERA and 1.095 WHIP in 21 innings. He started well against the Rockies, retiring five of the first six he faced, but would go no further, being pulled from the game with a right hamstring strain.

It’s gone this way for a long time for Cain. Every time it seems like things may be coming together, there’s a bump in the road that throws that to the wayside. From the flexor strain, to the cyst surgery, now to this, Cain just can’t seem to catch a break.

More from San Francisco Giants

No injury is ever positive, but if there is one good thing to take away from this, it’s that the injury isn’t to Cain’s arm. His arm has been the main problem for upwards of two years now, so having a hamstring problem, rather than more issues in his arm, can be seen as a mild blessing.

Cain is hopeful that this strain is milder than one he suffered in 2014, and can avoid the disabled list. Even if he can’t make his next scheduled start, which would come next Wednesday in Atlanta against the Braves, the Giants have some coverage that could allow Cain to avoid the disabled list. Albert Suarez, the long reliever, has starter’s experience, and could move in to the rotation for the next turn.

And speaking of Suarez…

2 – Suarez Again Impressive in Long Relief

With Cain getting just five outs, a heavy burden was placed on the shoulders of the bullpen. Suarez took most of the weight on his own frame, pitching five very nice innings in the always-difficult Coors Field. He did allow three earned runs, the first runs he’s given up as a big league pitcher, but for the most part, kept the Giants within striking distance.

Suarez started a little shaky, allowing three runs on five hits (all doubles) in the third and fourth innings. He would settle in, retiring nine of the next 10 he faced before plunking pinch-hitter Cristhian Adames, who turned out to be the last batter he faced.

Whether Suarez gets a chance to start in Cain’s absence or not, he has proven to be a valuable commodity for the Giants. This isn’t the first time he’s entered a game under less-than-favorable circumstances and gotten big outs, and with the way he’s pitched early in his career, it won’t be the last.

3 – Missing Offense

While Suarez did a great job to keep his team in the game, the offense just could not crack Chatwood. The economical Rockies’ starter threw just 84 pitches over seven innings to an aggressive Giants’ lineup, and gave up just one unearned run on four hits. The only run he did allow came from a DJ LeMahieu error (his first of the season), a single, and a fielder’s choice that was a replay review away from being an inning-ending double play. The fielder’s choice did give Suarez his first career RBI.

The only other run the Giants scored came in the ninth inning, when Buster Posey hit a one-out triple, his first three-bagger in 804 at-bats, and Gregor Blanco brought him home with a single.

The Giants weren’t playing with a full lineup on Friday, as Brandon Belt‘s ankle and Hunter Pence‘s hamstring kept them from starting. Even still, in a place like Coors Field, a team should be able to muster more than two runs and seven hits.

It’s hard to complain much about the Giants’ lack of offense when the team has won 13 out of 15 games, but the pitching won’t always be as great as they have been. This lineup, the one that has been touted as one of the deepest in baseball, has to start scoring runs. The return of Belt and Pence on Saturday (hopefully) should facilitate an uptick in offensive production.

Next: Giants Morning Minute: Tomlinson Steals the Show

That will do it for this edition of the Giants Morning Minute. Up next, the Giants and the Rockies continue their three-game series with a day game in Coors Field. Ace Madison Bumgarner takes the mound for the Giants, while Eddie Butler will be his opposite.