By Morris Phillips
In a close game against the hated Blue, Giants’ catcher Buster Posey and starting pitcher Matt Cain’s moment of realization while sitting together in the dugout between innings could have signaled the pair were on the same page, a determined alliance of stubborn, veteran ballplayers tired of losing, and willing to unearth any details that might prompt a reversal of their fortunes.
Or just two old guys acknowledging how much time has passed in their baseball careers without being too smug to admit it.
“Goodness. He looks really young,” Posey said to Cain regarding Giants’ rookie Christian Arroyo, 21, making his big league debut on Monday.
And truth by told, Arroyo did look young, but he didn’t play like a youngster. The Giants’ number one ranked prospect was tabbed from Sacramento to help jump start a club that found itself in sole possession of the National League’s cellar on Monday morning, promoted as a desperately needed shot in the arm.
And while it took just a shade under three hours, the Giants achieved the desired result, a win and another encouraging outing from Cain, a guy who suddenly fills a huge void in the absence of Madison Bumgarner.
Cain hadn’t beat the Dodgers in nearly four years, and only five of the 312 starts in his career had resulted in a win over his team’s biggest rival. But this time, things fell into place, and weren’t disrupted when the veteran pitcher was removed while favoring his hamstring in the moments leading up to the top of the seventh inning.
Instead, the bullpen hunkered down, 30-year old Posey threw out runners in the eighth and ninth innings, and the 32-year old Cain fell into the win column.
“We’re at our best when the pitching’s there and the defense is there. That’s our strength and it’s gotten away from us,” manager Bruce Bochy admitted.
“I don’t think we had a scenario where we very predictable,” Cain said.