The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Cain Flirts With No-No in CGSO Home Opener

Matt Cain's bid for a perfect game was broken up with two outs in the sixth inning in a 5-0 victory over the Pirates.

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Cain Brilliant in 5-0 Win Against Pirates

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We said in the preview on Friday morning that the Giants should manhandle the Pirates on Friday. That's exactly what happened as Matt Cain threw a one-hit, complete-game shutout.

In typical Friday the 13th fashion, it was James McDonald, the opposing pitcher, who recorded the lone hit against Cain. It was the seventh hit of McDonald's career. Of course.

Does it stink that he didn't get the no-hitter? Sure it stinks, especially since it was a pitcher who got the one hit. But Cain looked insanely good on Friday night.

His changeup moved like a slower version of a sinker, and he continually baffled Pirates hitters on high cheese, striking out 11 on the day.

It was Cain's fifth career shutout and the eighth time he's struck out double-digit batters in a game. And it was also the third one-hit shutout of his career, which is oddly impressive.

Of course, it wouldn't have been a freaky Friday if other odd things didn't happen -- Aubrey Huff also hit his first home run of the season, a two-out mashjob that splashed down in McCovey Cove, scoring a pair of runs and extending the Giants lead to 5-0 in the eighth inning.

At that point in time, there was little question that Cain would go the distance. He did just that, finishing the game with 106 pitches and, quite honestly, it looked like he could pitch another five or six innings.

He never struggled, he never broke a sweat and he never really looked like a guy who just signed a deal worth nine figures.

Cain did look like a guy who was thrilled to get some run support for once, though. The Giants scored more than four runs for the seventh consecutive time this season, which is the second-longest streak in Giants history, behind only 2003, when they did it nine-straight times.

It was about as perfect as a home opener can get, with the Giants big-time pitching investment dealing like a true ace and the offseason offensive additions continuing to make this team look like an actual contender with the bats.

Maybe you can find one little flaw -- ahem, Mr. McDonald -- but Giants fans and Cain can probably live with that after Friday's performance.

Related Topics Giants, Matt Cain, Pirates
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