By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA – It was an almost perfect day for Matt Cain, but yet still memorable. One play, one mistake on the count, one hit costed the right-handed pitcher a perfect game.
The Giants 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates seemed too easy. Taking the first game of the series was nothing better than a great start for the homestand.
“I’m always kind of conscious of it [close to pitching a perfect game],” Cain said. “It’s something I’ve definitely always wanted to do through high school or Little League.”
Opposing pitcher James McDonald didn’t have the best outing but he did manage to breakup Matt’s no hitter by grounding a 2-1 pitch to left field after he retired the first 17 batters before him.
“You think about, it’s like, man, the pitcher stood in his way for a perfect game,” McDonald said.
Cain pitched his third career one-hitter, fifth shutout and 14th complete game. Not a bad start to the season after signing a new $127.5 million, six-year contract (a record for a right-hand pitcher).
“What a day by Matt,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “We’ve all seen him locked in like this, he was as good as he’s been.”
Buster Posey recovering from Shingles got things rolling in the first frame when he hit a two-run double and catched nine innings. Aubrey Huff followed with a single RBI giving the Giants a 2-0 lead in the first frame.
The Giants looked good in all areas especially defense, Brandon Crawford made a spectacular play to end the inning in the fourth. Cain missed Andrew McCutchen’s grounder which rolled into the hands of Crawford who threw to Huff off-balance for the out.
The offense continued to put up the points, they now average 5.4 runs per game leading the National League. Pablo Sandoval lined a one-out double to right field, Nate Schierholtz’s single RBI added another run in the sixth and Aubrey blasted a two-run homer out to McCovey Cove.
Notes: The festivities for Opening Day started off with the Giants honoring the 1962 World Series team.
Tyler Stow, son of Bryan Stow threw out the first pitch with the entire 2012 Giants roster standing behind him. In a emotional ceremony, Tyler’s father was shown in a wheelchair along with his mother Ann on the video screen. Brian reached out to hand his son the ball while telling him “good luck son.”
The touching presentation brought tears to many as this was the first time Stow was seen live after the terrible beating he received last season at the Los Angeles Dodgers game. One year later Bryan has shown great improvement but his cognitive function will remain impaired and he may remain in a wheel chair for the rest of his life.