The Giants can take heart in this: they are still the best second-place team in the National League. But after Friday night's 5-1 loss to the Brewers that margin took a hit.
Yes, the battle for second-best in the N.L. is playing out this weekend in Milwaukee, as current Wild Card leader San Francisco faces current Wild Card runner-up Milwaukee. And after game one that lead is down to a half game. Sure the regular season hasn't even reached the midway point yet, but it's never too soon to think playoffs.
That is especially true for a team that hasn't been to the postseason since 2003.
In addition to an early Wild Card buzz, Friday night's game also featured a showdown between two of the National League's best pitchers, as Matt Cain went for a league-leading 10th win of the season, and Yovani Gallardo his eighth.
But on this night, Gallardo was better. Other than a Pablo Sandoval solo homerun in the top of the first, the Brewers' starter locked down the Giants' lineup, allowing no more runs and just three more hits in seven and two-third innings. He also struck out nine.
Meanwhile, Cain struggled from the very beginning, allowing two runs on two doubles in the first inning, followed by a one-run homer off the bat of J.J. Hardy in the third. The righty allowed a total of five runs on six hits and four walks in seven innings, while striking out nine.
Cain's record now rests at 9-2.
Of course the fun is just beginning as this June Wild Card battle continues Saturday as Barry Zito opposes Seth McClung.