So let me get this straight? Giants starter Matt Cain had a two-hitter through seven innings and Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to take him out of the game in favor of Vinnie Chulk?
Welcome to the new world of Giants baseball. Didn’t see the Giants last night, because I was out chattering my teeth at the A’s-Angels, but according to the game story by Andy Baggarly, Bochy chose to err on the side of caution.
Can’t say I disagree with him entirely. A large portion of the Giants’ future rests on the right arm of Cain, who for all his talent is still only 22. And playing baseball in bitter cold weather is additional stress on the body, which is already involved in an activity (throwing overhand) that isn’t natural.
Keep in mind, too, that Bochy must find out what he has in the bullpen. We’ve been watching the Giants suffer in relief for the past couple of seasons, but Bochy hasn’t. And one thing Bochy is reputed for is molding bullpens. So why not see what the ‘pen can do? One trend early in the season is that Bochy is letting his relievers pitch out of the trouble they cause. So my guess is that Bochy wanted to see what his bullpen can do when asked to protect a two-run lead in the eighth. Certainly, it won’t be the only time Bochy needs them to do so.
As for Cain, he’ll get plenty of chances to take a two-hitter into the eighth inning. The guy is going to pitch a no-hitter eventually.