June 13, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
Not for sure how many of you stayed up late to finish this game as it was pretty ugly from the onset. I was very tempted to post the recap after the second inning as it felt like that 5-0 cushion was insurmountable against Matt Cain. If you did retire early though then you missed a majestic night for Matt Cain as he threw his first career no-hitter and perfect game. There's not too many nights that a disputed one-hitter by R.A. Dickey wouldn't be the top pitching performance of the night, but leave it to our Astros to allow Cain to upstage him.
Melky Cabrera continues his torrid pace and hit his fifth homerun of the year. Brandon Belted his second two-run homerun in as many nights as well. Gregor Blanco also added a two-run homerun just to prove that the Giants can hit homeruns at home. In between the homers the Giants played add-on and had a ten run lead by the fifth.
Normally I would write about the Astros here, but unfortunately there wasn't anything remotely interesting to talk about. The Astros came close to breaking up the no-no a couple of times. Once was when Jordan Schafer hit a
double ball just foul down the first base line and later struck out. In the fifth Chris Snyder tried his best to join the Giants homerun parade, but came up just short as Melky Cabrera made the catch at the warning track. Then in the seventh Jordan Schafer looked like he had a base hit in the left center gap on lock down, but Blanco made a TREMENDOUS catch to rob Schafer. Instead, the story tonight was Matt Cain who brought his A-game and absolutely owned the Astros offense. Cain got his first no-hitter of his career, struckout FOURTEEN Astros, and that's about all I have to say about that.
I guess we should talk about the bullpen first since they put in most of the work in this one. Rhiner Cruz has really been in a funk lately. After starting the season so hot and performing well in crucial situations his ERA is up to 7.40 after allowing two earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Lucky for him the Astros don't really have a lot of replacement options in the system, so Luhnow probably doesn't have to make any tough decisions on the rule-5 picks status anytime soon. Fernando Abad has started a rehab assignment in Oklahoma City recently which means that Xavier Cedeno's time with the Astros could be limited. He did his part to keep his name in the mix with three scoreless innings and really did a solid by saving the rest of the pen.
How about J.A. Happ tonight. Nothing like eleven hits and eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings. If we look for positives here at least Happ struck out five to improve his K/9 rate to 9.41. However, that plus is quickly negated by the fact that he raised his ERA from 4.54 to 5.33 in just 3+ innings of work. With the Norris injury and Happ's ineffectiveness tonight the Astros bullpen has been overworked in this series. Hopefully Wandy can come out and no-hit the Giants tomorrow and save the bullpen a little. We can wish right? How about that Matt Cain.