Throwback look suits Cain perfectly in milestone win


Throwback look suits Cain perfectly in milestone win


SAN FRANCISCO Matt Cain is too superstitious to tip hiscap, even to a thunderous ovation. He doesnt break focus for a single pitch.He is not what youd call a showman.

So it was a stunning bit of theater on Saturday when Cainbloused out his 1912 throwback uniform, raised his arms over his head, wound uplike a windmill and delivered a first pitch worthy of Dizzy Dean on Friday.

The first one? said Cain, grinning. I was trying to go alittle throwback there. I was thinking about it yesterday. Jake Peavy alwaysdid it in San Diego. So youre thinking, 'Well, I dont know.' But well, itsonly one pitch.

You might as well try to be in character a little bit. Soit was fun.

He threw a ball. Cain didnt throw many more.

Cain didnt stay in character by perishing of consumption ordoing anything too extreme. Hes not a method actor, even if the Giants offensehas provided dead-ball era run support for him over his career.

Call him conditioned to his time and place. Cain made threesingles, a bases-loaded walk and a ground out work for everyone while pitchingthe Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. For the first time allseason, the Giants are five games over .500.

And for the first time since he was a 22-year-old young buckwith a 17-17 record in 2007, Cain is at .500 for his career. Hes 75-75 afterstarting this season 6-2.

I guess it kind of stinks that its getting back to .500,but thats how it goes, said Cain, who claimed he wasnt even aware untilafter the game. I could care less what my record is, as long as we win.Getting back to .500 for my career, I dont worry about it.

Cain is a throwback in every sense. Perhaps thats why hewas in his white and navy uniform, pulling on those thick turn back thecentury socks, more than 90 minutes before the first pitch.

Yeah, it was funny, he said. Everybody was in uniform anhour, an hour and a half before the game to get comfortable. Its entertaining,definitely. Were a bunch of little kids in here.

I loved it. It was actually one of the most comfortablethrowback jerseys Ive ever worn. It wasnt heavy or uncomfortable.

Sergio Romo especially loved the sight of big MadisonBumgarner in that snow white uniform.

We called him Bum Ruth, the great Bum-bino, Romo said. Helooked so big in that uniform. We were having fun with it. He just fit themold.

And Romo, who always catches the ceremonial first pitch (anddont you love that about him?), got to receive the best fastball a 99-year-oldfan could muster. She was born in 1912.

She was smiling, laughing, Romo said. It was awesome.

Romo and Javier Lopez made sure the birds and bugs in thestands could head out to the cobblestones and trolleys in a good mood. It waspreordained that Cain would face just the first batter in the ninth, and hewalked Starlin Castro. But Lopez threw two pitches to record two outs, thanksto some deft fielding by third baseman Joaquin Arias as he started a doubleplay. And Romo threw three sliders to retire Alfonso Soriano.

It was the fourth career save for Romo. With SantiagoCasilla (bruised knee) out for the day and Brian Wilson (elbow surgery) out forthe season, Romo was effectively the man behind the man behind the man.

Yeah, I got an out in the ninth, Romo said. Its the sameas an out in the seventh or eighth. I guess its peace of mind for the staffand the front office that they put a pretty good pitching staff together.

Cain might have said it best: We all (in the rotation) feelwere No. 1-2 guys and all the guys in the bullpen feel theyre eighth-inning,ninth-inning guys.

That leaves the offense, and lets revisit that wholedead-ball thing. Incredibly, the club has hit just one home run in its lastSEVENTEEN home games (and thank Gregor Blanco for that surprising littleblast). Yet they are 10-7 over that span.

We scratched and clawed -- I guess a little like the 1912team, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. We didnt show much power but we founda way to get it done.

The first of Cains 215 career starts was a 2-1 game a lossto the Colorado Rockies. There have been 17 of them in his career. The Giantsare 9-8 and Cain has a 7-5 record in those starts.

Hes been so consistent and we needed it today, becausetheir guy was throwing the ball so well, Bochy said. Matty, hes amazing. Hejust keeps going and keeps competing so well.

Thats a quality that works in any uniform, in any era.

The first pitch, going over his head? That was awesome,said Romo, who apparently spent much of the game discussing the temporalissues.

What about the black and white Jumbotron? You cant tell methey had that back in the day. It makes you think what would they do, haveguys running around with huge posters?"

Cubs come alive behind Schwarber, Arrieta; World Series tied 1-1


Cubs come alive behind Schwarber, Arrieta; World Series tied 1-1


CLEVELAND -- Jake Arrieta made a teasing run at history, Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs and the Chicago Cubs brushed off a shutout to even the World Series with their first Fall Classic win in 71 years, 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, briefly invoking Don Larsen's name, before the Indians touched him for two hits and a run. However, the right-hander helped give Chicago just what it needed - a split at Progressive Field - before the Cubbies return to their Wrigley Field den for the next three games starting Friday night.

The Cubs hadn't won in the Series since beating Detroit 8-7 in 1945 to force Game 7.

The free-swinging Schwarber, who made it back for Chicago's long-awaited Series return after missing most of the season with an injured left knee, hit an RBI single in the third off Cleveland's Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs' three-run fifth - highlighted by Ben Zobrist's run-scoring triple.

Even the presence of star LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers, sporting their new rings, couldn't stop the Indians from losing for the first time in six home games this postseason.

And Cleveland manager Terry Francona's magical touch in October finally fizzled as he dropped to 9-1 in Series games.

With rain in the forecast, Major League Baseball moved the first pitch up an hour in hopes of avoiding delays or a postponement.

It turned out to be a good call as the game went on without a hitch and ended after more than four hours as light rain was beginning to fall.

Arrieta and the Cubs provided the only storm.

The bearded 30-year-old coasted through five innings without allowing a hit, the first pitcher to get that deep in a Series game with a no-hitter since David Cone of the New York Yankees in 1998.

For a brief period, Arrieta looked as if he might challenge Larsen's gem - a perfect game - in 1956 before Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, a die-hard Cubs fan as a kid, doubled with one out in the sixth.

Before that, Cleveland hitters had a couple good swings, and drew three walks, but couldn't mount a real threat. Arrieta has two career no-hitters, in fact, including the only one in the majors this year.

Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery replaced Arrieta and worked two scoreless innings before Aroldis Chapman came in and unleashed his 103 mph heat while getting the last four outs.

The teams will have an off day before the series resumes with Game 3 at Wrigley, which will host its first Series game since Oct. 6, 1945, when tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave with his pet goat, Murphy, and a curse was born.

Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians, who will lose the designated hitter in the NL ballpark, against Kyle Hendricks.

Schwarber might also wind up on the bench after two days as the DH.

With a gametime temperature of 43, the weather was more fitting for the Browns and Bears to bang heads than the boys of summer.

The Cubs were the ones who came up thumping after being blanked 6-0 in Game 1 by Corey Kluber and Cleveland's shut-down bullpen.

Zobrist's one-out triple triggered the fifth as the Cubs opened a 5-0 lead, not that Arrieta needed it.

After Anthony Rizzo walked following a 10-pitch at-bat, Zobrist laced a ball off Zach McAllister that was going to be a double until right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall slipped and fell. Rizzo was waved around and Zobrist hustled into third.

Schwarber followed with his second RBI and reliever Bryan Shawn later walked No. 9 hitter Addison Russell with the bases loaded.

Unlike his start in Toronto on Oct. 17, when his stitched cut opened up and Bauer was forced to make a bloody departure in the first inning, his finger held up fine.

The Cubs, though, put a few nicks in him in 3 2/3 innings.

The drone accident has brought attention to the quirky Bauer, and one Chicago fan tried to rattle the right-hander by sending a smaller version of the remote-controlled, flying object that cut him.

Bauer posted a photo of it on Twitter, saying "I see the (at)Cubs fans love me! How nice of them to send me a gift!"

The Cubs, who were off balance from the start against Kluber, scored their first run in a Series game since `45 in the first on Rizzo's RBI double.

Bauer needed 51 pitches to get through two innings, and he was one strike from getting out of the third unscathed when Chicago turned a walk and to singles into a 2-0 lead.

Cubs: Hendricks is coming off his brilliant performance in Game 5 of the NLCS when he pitched two-hit ball for seven innings as the Cubs clinched their first pennant in 71 years. The right-hander went 16-8 during the regular season with a league-leading 2.13 ERA.

Indians: It will be an emotional night for Tomlin, who will pitch on 12 day's rest with his ailing father, Jerry, in attendance. The elder Tomlin became stricken with a spinal condition in August, when Tomlin was struggling on the mound. The right-hander more than recovered and rescued Cleveland's rotation in the postseason, winning both starts.

Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League


Giants catching prospect Garcia relishing reps in Arizona Fall League

After the Giants selected him in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft, catcher Aramis Garcia quickly opened eyes with his power. Garcia totaled 15 home runs between Rookie Ball and Short Season Single-A in only 28 games after the draft. 

The next year, Garcia equaled his 15 long balls and spent the majority of his first full pro season at High Single-A. He also improved overall as a hitter, raising his 2014 slash line of .225/.301/.343 to .264/.342/.431 in 2015. Garcia's promotion to the next rung in the farm system ladder -- the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels -- was derailed by a rough injury. 

He sustained a facial fracture in May while sliding into second base, taking a knee to the face in an attempt to break up a double play. The injury kept him out until the end of July and limited Garcia to 47 games in 2016.

When the chance to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions arose, Garcia jumped at the opportunity. 

"First thing I did was call my parents and let them know," Garcia told on Monday. "I was just really excited for getting the opportunity to play against guys who are extremely talented and obviously make up for reps, which are extremely important."

Garcia never did exactly find his rhythm after the injury and finished the season batting .257/.323/.340 with two homers in 41 games. In the first half, the 23-year-old hit .298/.359/.369 compared to a lowly .200/.273/.300 in the second half. 

The catcher known more for his offense than defense is off to a slow start at the plate while facing some of the top prospects in baseball. Through six games, he has gone 3-for-17 at the plate, good for a .176 average. But, Garcia acknowledged he's focusing heavily on his defense in the AFL. 

"I feel like when somebody tries to steal on me, I tend to take it a little bit personally," he said. "It's definitely something I take pride in, something I work on hard every day. There's a little routine I do with receiving and footwork, things like that every day."

Behind the dish, Garcia caught 38 percent of base runners looking to swipe a bag on him last season. Through his three years in the minors, Garcia has erased 34 percent of base stealers and owns a .993 fielding percentage.