Matt Cain signed a new deal worth 112.5 million over five years, which means one thing.That ruins the drama of the rest of the exhibition schedule.Cains new deal will average 22.5M per year, well within the parameters of every logical guess on how this would end. Cain knew his value, the Giants knew his value, the agents and the players union knew his value thus obviating the need for all the panic and freakery going on about the deal.There was no hometown discount, which we knew. There was no gouging, which he could have done by coming in at Cliff Lee money. There was very little posturing, in fact. In all ways, this was a lousy contract negotiation for our purposes. Gentlemen and gentlewomen met, they argued a bit, and then they hit the number that was supposed to be hit, given all the numbers that have been hit around them.Now all he has to do is not lose 15 mph on his fastball, or tinker with his delivery every off-season, or be asked to be (the new hellish buzzphrase) the face of the franchise.All Cain has to do is pitch as he has be in the top 10 in innings pitches, pitches thrown, and all the other metrics that show workload and effectiveness.In other words, all he has to do is be him. Thats not as easy as it seems, to be sure, given the bar he has already set, but because baseball contracts have long been about non-baseball things like projecting the future, preventing competitors for bidding, etc., he got what he deserved considering the conditions that prevail.And the Giants got what they needed as well. Without Cain, their entire roster-building strategy would have been shot. Theyd have been a team built on pitching without enough pitching, and a team trying to fake it with their hitting not even managing that.In other words, theyd be the Pittsburgh Pirates a bad team in a good yard. And there are always great seats available in Pittsburgh.So it goes. Wed all congratulate all involved, but since none of the rest of us are getting a taste, we really dont care all that much. But a brief tip othe top to them for reaching the only logical conclusion where nobody looks greedy or stupid or shortsighted a rarity in this day and age.Now lets get down to the business we all know best, and let me be the first -- to wit:When is Cain going to earn his money and win the Lady Byng Trophy? Why cant he lead the NBA in scoring? And why can he not get over the top at the Country Music Awards? God in heaven, when does his contract expire? Hes killing the franchise!Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com
DENVER — For the second straight start, Matt Moore watched an outfielder chase down a rocket, slam into the wall, and immediately leave the game with a hurt shoulder.
“You’ve got to feel a little responsible,” he said Saturday night, shaking his head.
That’s not entirely fair. The Jarrett Parker and Denard Span injuries have been flukes, but there is a different kind of responsibility for the starting staff. Bobby Evans built this team on the starting five, and through three weeks, the group has been a letdown.
Madison Bumgarner was hurt during an off-field incident. Johnny Cueto has an uncharacteristic 5.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through four starts. Moore gave up six runs in four innings Saturday, raising his own ERA to 5.87. On the other side, a rookie — Antonio Senzatela — held the Giants to four hits, leading the Rockies to a 12-3 win.
“He just made mistakes. You saw them,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Moore. “They caught too much of the plate and they were up and they took advantage of them. This can be a tough park but they pitched well tonight with a young kid. You’ve got to make your pitches. Keep concentrating and don’t give in. That’s the way it works and we’re not doing a very good job of that.
“Obviously our staff, we’re a much better staff than what’s happened. We’ve got to tighten it up here and wake up. We’re not a team that goes out and pounds it with you. We’ve got to pitch.”
The starting staff, even without Bumgarner, is more important than it first seemed. That's because the rest of the Giants are dropping, too. Span went out in the third when he slammed into the wall while making a catch, and while the initial read is positive, he was going for X-rays Saturday night. At the very least, a right shoulder sprain will keep him out a couple of days.
That means Bochy, 18 games in, is dealing with one of his Bomb Squad situations. Buster Posey will play first on Sunday after a couple of long days in the squat, and it’s possible Brandon Belt will get a day in left. Gorkys Hernandez, hitting just .088, is the man in center while Span is out. Hunter Pence (knee bruise) is expected to return to right field Sunday, but the outfield is hanging by a string. The Giants have even talked about putting Eduardo Nuñez in left, and on Saturday he played several innings in right because of the Span injury.
Bochy challenged his starters, but the regulars behind them will need to be better, too. The bats didn’t get going until the eighth inning at Coors Field, and even then, a rally was cut short and the Giants promptly gave up six more runs. Nuñez was late getting over on a pop-up that clanked off Joe Panik’s glove and extended the inning.
“You’re going to deal with that,” Bochy said. “He’s going to feel discombobulated.”
Bochy had just one positive to point to, and he lit up when asked about Chris Stratton, who threw three hitless innings to keep the Giants within shouting distance.
“Boy, that kid did a nice job," he said.
Stratton isn’t far down the depth chart if there are further injuries in the rotation, and with a fastball that touched 95, he looked better than he has in years. The Giants hope they don’t need to test him. They’re banged-up, but at the moment, they still have four of their projected starting pitcher, along with Ty Blach. Without Bumgarner, the group will have to be better, and Bochy let them know it Saturday.
DENVER — Near the end of last season’s collapse, the Giants spent a couple of days sitting eight games out of first place. Less than three weeks into this season, they’re already six out, and there are no signs that this is going to get better anytime soon.
The Giants managed just four hits against rookie Antonio Senzatela and went on to lose 12-3 at Coors Field. They also lost another starter to injury.
A week to the day after Jarrett Parker broke his clavicle, Denard Span was removed after a similar collision with an outfield wall. Span has a mild right shoulder sprain and will go for X-rays. Throw in Hunter Pence’s left knee bruise and the Giants played most of this game without all three of their projected starting outfielders.
To hang in a game like this one, the Giants needed a one-man show on the mound. Matt Moore wasn’t up to it. The lefty gave up six runs in four innings, including three homers. Mark Reynolds hit a deep blast in a three-run first and Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon went deep in a three-run fourth.
The Giants threatened in the eighth, getting two runs back and sending the tying run to the plate. That rally seemed a lifetime away by the top of the ninth. The Rockies scored six runs off Neil Ramirez in their half of the eighth.
Starting pitching report: No pitcher likes this place, but Moore has a real beef. In three career starts at Coors Field he has thrown just 11 2/3 innings and allowed 16 earned runs.
Bullpen report: Chris Stratton, called up for the Madison Bumgarner roster spot, made his season debut in the fifth. He was outstanding. Stratton allowed just a walk in three innings and he topped out at 95 mph, a significant tick up from where he was last year. Stratton struck out three and broke Nolan Arenado’s bat on a grounder.
At the plate: Joe Panik went deep in the sixth for his first homer of the year.
In the field: Eduardo Nuñez made a great stop in the second and threw Stephen Cardullo out as he rolled over. An inning later, he was in right field. The Span injury forced Nuñez to right for just the seventh time in his career. He wasn't tested until the eighth, when he was late getting over to a deep pop-up that Panik dropped.
Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 39,239 human beings. They’re excited about this team, and for good reason.
Up next: Save them, Jeff.