The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Matt Cain to Start Game 1 of NLDS

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    We don't know much about the Giants playoff setup. Who they'll play and who will be starting and relieving are both up in the air. But we learned something new on Monday, when Bruce Bochy announced that Matt Cain would start the first game of the NLDS for the Giants.

    The National League Divisional Series begins on Saturday and it shouldn't be shocking that Cain, the Giants best starter this season, will start for San Francisco.

    "He's so consistent and I think it's fair to say he's the number one guy right now with the way he's been throwing all year," Bochy said. "He's had a great year and started the All-Star game. He's been consistent, really, all season."

    Consistent really is a great word for Cain: he struggled for just a few stretches in 2012, and was primarily dominant, posting numbers that would've put him in Cy Young contention in most seasons.

    He also pitched well in his last few games, giving up just two earned runs in 20 innings while striking out 16 batters.

    It's that sort of performance that Bochy would love to see out of his ace to kick off the Giants playoffs. Expect to see an announcement this week that Madison Bumgarner's getting the rock during the second game of the NDLS: he's also been impressively strong for the Giants this year and should be a lock for the second game.

    Per Alex Pavlovic, Bochy's said he might not announce the starter for the third game for some time, including even seeing how the team does in the first two games of the series. It's likely Tim Lincecum, but perhaps he'd be willing to roll the dice on someone like Barry Zito if the Giants were cruising and had a lefty-friendly lineup to face.

    Either way, we've got something cleared up, even if we already knew it: Cain's taking the mound to kick off the 2012 Giants playoff run.