In a game as ugly as rotting lettuce, Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants lost to Josh Collmenter and the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-6, after squandering an early six run lead. The Giants 2012 season record is now 0-3.
Seven-Word Game Summary: Too bad it didn't end fourth inning.
The Skinny: In this final game of the three-game series against the Diamondbacks, Matt Cain and the Giants were everything fans had been hoping and praying for since the 2010 season ended -- until the fourth inning.
Up to that point, Cain was working magic on the mound and the runs were racking up, including Buster Posey's first home run of the 2012 regular season. When the fourth inning began, the Giants were stomping the Diamondbacks, 6-0.
From the bottom of the fourth inning on, however, the Giants played as if aliens had come and taken over their bodies during the commercial break, aliens that aren't terribly adept at baseball. By the time the seventh inning rolled around, Cain had given up enough runs to get the score to 6-5, including back-to-back home runs from Ryan Roberts and Lyle Overbay.
After Cain departed to the dugout, a steady stream of Giants bullpenners paraded to the mound, each doing seemingly worse than the previous one: Affeldt, Casilla, Lopez, Romo. During an interminable seventh inning that gave a whole new spin to the phrase, "Giants baseball: Torture," the final blow came when an off-target Sandoval throw to Posey pulled him off the bag and allowed the Diamondbacks to take the lead, 7-6. Bruce Bochy contested the call and was ejected from the game. The rest of the team probably wished they'd been ejected too, just to end the misery.
The Game, By the Numbers:
0: The number of hits by Brandon Belt. His first base position is starting to look perilous, indeed.
5: The number of errors committed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Although most occurred when the Giants still had the lead, the Giants seemed unable to capitalize on them.
8: The number of consecutive games that the Diamondbacks have won against the Giants.
Yes, We Cain: There's no disputing that Cain was brilliant in the first three innings, particularly in the first inning when, faced with Willie Bloomquist on third base and no outs, he proceeded to make short work of Aaron Hill, Justin Upton, and Miguel Montero. He needed only 10 pitches each in the second and third innings to retire the Diamondbacks. But once the dam of Diamondback runs broke in the fourth, Cain was simply unable to plug the hole.
Player o'the Game: Buster Posey. Despite the game's bitter end, it was great to see Buster looking strong after catching for all three games in this series.
The Diamondbacks and Giants series is (mercifully) over. The Giants move on to Colorado to begin their second series of the 2012 season.
Game 1 of the new series is on Monday, April 9, starting at 1:10 p.m., PST. Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants will face Jhoulys Chacin and the Colorado Rockies.