San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Cain is having a pretty rough year, both for Matt Cain standards and “good big leaguer” standards. His numbers are down across the board, posting a massive 5.45 ERA on the year, more than two runs higher than his career mark. He cannot avoid the long ball after successfully doing for his entire career.

Cain started Saturday for the Giants in St. Louis against the godless killing machine that is the 2013 Cardinals. Cain’s line for the day is pretty rough, the kind of line befitting a player in the midst of his worst career season.

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit StS GSc
Matt Cain, L (4-3) 6 9 7 7 0 9 0 5.45 27 101 10 35
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/3/2013.

The strikeouts are nice but seven runs allowed is still seven runs allowed — unless you squint.

Matt Cain was obviously not dominant on Saturday…except he was completely dominant save one disastrous frame. Inning by inning, here is Cain’s day:

  1. Strikeout, ground out, strikeout
  2. Strikeout, line out, fly out
  4. Strikeout, strikeout, line out
  5. pop out, ground out, strikeout
  6. Fly out, fly out, strikeout.

And then his day was done. Matt Cain allowed all that damage in one complete blowup of an inning. He was perfect in the other five inning. 15 up, 15 down if you can somehow exclude the inning in which he threw 40 pitches and faced 12 batters.

Unfortunately for Matt Cain and Matt Cain fantasy owners, you cannot exclude that inning. It counts and cost the Giants the game. But the other five innings are enough to provide Cain and the Giants that he isn’t too far from figuring things out. My personal advice: don’t face the Cardinals ever again and don’t throw fastballs right down the middle if you do have to face them.

Game Chart of the Weekend

Source: FanGraphs

Jose Valverde is the white rabbit and top hat of Orioles magic. Without him, you don’t have a show.


Orioles Park at Camden Yards doesn’t the credit it deserves as a total joke bandbox. Home runs just FLY out of this place and they always have. The Detroit Tigers demonstrated this Saturday afternoon, hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs off beleaguered O’s hurler Jason Hammel.

After these three consecutive long balls, Hammel was tossed for hitting the very next hitter, Matt Tuiasosopo, in the back with a pitch. Plunking somebody after surrendering three straight homers is old school but it is well within the confines of The Code. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

When it comes to ejections in this case, I’m of two minds. Firstly, the pitch hit Tuiasosop high on his back, far too close to his head for comfort. On the other hand, the pitch looked an awful lot like a slider that actually got away from Hammel, which was the case he made to Wendelstedt to no avail.

Was the veteran ump looking to run Hammel on a play he anticipated more than reacted to? Perhaps. That’s not right but neither is throwing baseballs near people’s brains. It’s a weird issue. Could it really just be a coincedence that the one slider that got up and in on a right-handed batter came directly after three straight home runs?

It wasn’t as if the game was in doubt at that point. The Tigers went on to win Saturday’s contest 10-3 powered by these three home runs and a Miguel Cabrera grand slam. I think he might be good.

Petco Gone to Seed

Confession time: I don’t watch a great deal of San Diego Padres games. I watch more than none but I don’t find them in my regular rotation (which is basically dictated by pitching matchups, leaving the non-Cashner Padres out in the cold). For whatever reason, I didn’t realize the Padres grew vegetables in their bullpen and batters eye! Which, I shouldn’t have to tell you, is amazing.

padres plants

I remember reading about the actual relievers taking up amateur horticulture years ago but this is the real thing. The team had to destroy their previous garden when they opted to change the dimensions of the ballpark but they rebuilt much of the garden, which supplies organic ingredients to several Petco eateries.

Sadly Related

I’m loath to make a “put out to pasture” line in here after all that vegetable talk but poor Ramon Ortiz looks like he has thrown his final pitch as a Major League pitcher. This might come as news to many folks who assumed Ramon Ortiz threw his final big league pitch years ago. But the 40-year old made a comeback with the Toronto Blue Jays, making four starts for the struggling Jays.

Unsurprisingly, Ortiz wasn’t especially good in emergency duty for the Jays. He was actually DFA’d last week but recalled when yet another pitching injury pressed him back into duty. Ortiz was shaky last night, giving up a home run to fellow pitcher Edinson Volquez. Ortiz’s days in baseball were numbered and the end of his time in the big leagues was very, very near.

Then Ortiz threw a pitch and appeared to know almost immediately that something was wrong. He slammed his glove down and became very emotional on the field.

No ball player deserves to go out like that. Hopefully Ortiz is okay and healthy enough to continue pitching in the minor leagues or winter ball or anywhere but in the uniform of the Toronto Blue Jays. Please, for the betterment of us all.

Photo of the Weekend

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

If memory serves, this New York city cop came directly to Yankee Stadium from punching Michael Corleone in the jaw. No word if this guy might be a crooked cop who was caught up in the rackets. Probably not. But if he were, I bet newspaper people would like a story like that.

Spare a Thought For Those Who Must Sort Through the Abundance

I do not envy the man who must decide what is to become of Jurickson Profar.

This Guy

Seriously, this guy!