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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Perfect




I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I just witnessed.

Tonight, Matt Cain was perfect. Check that: Matt Cain was perfect. Actually, that doesn’t even begin to describe it. Matt Cain was PERFECT. From the first inning, the first pitch, the first step he took from the dugout on his way to the mound, Matt Cain was PERFECT.

It’s hard to describe the mood in the ballpark tonight. It was equal parts tension, optimism, fear, hope, excitement, nausea, everything. It was one of those times where everyone knew what was happening but didn’t want to say anything, even if they didn’t believe in jinxes. From around the 6th inning on, it felt like every pitch Cain threw was life or death. And when Gregor Blanco made that spectacular catch in right center, everyone just knew it. It was going to happen. It had to happen.

When it was over, I hugged my Dad, I hugged the guy in front of me, I hugged the guy behind me, and I might’ve hugged other random people in the stands; I honestly don’t remember. The exact moment is a blur: groundball to 3rd, Arias staggering back, the throw, eruption, euphoria. And hugging. Lots and lots of hugging.

Honestly, I’m having a hard time collecting my thoughts tonight. It’s humbling to realize you’ve been a witness to real, actual history, something that hasn’t happened ever before to a franchise that’s 128 years old. It’s nearly impossible to wrap my head around. I don’t think I’ll fully appreciate what I just witnessed for at least a few days.

But right now, I’ll take the overwhelming happiness. Tonight, Matt Cain was perfect.

Matt Cain was PERFECT.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Surprise: Giants Draft Pitcher

Actually...well, no, it's not a surprise. Completely, totally expected, actually.

The Giants stuck to their formula of developing young pitching yesterday, drafting MSU starter Chris Stratton with the 20th pick in the 1st round of the MLB Draft. Stratton, a 6'3" right hander, was 11-2 with 2.38 ERA for Mississippi State with 127 Ks in 109 2/3 IP. He was the SEC Pitcher of the Year, and could be close to Major League ready in a short period of time.

It's no surprise the Giants went with a pitcher last night. A combination of trades and Major League promotions have left the farm system bereft of top-end pitching talent and the Giants needed to replenish the ranks. Plus, with the impending free agency of Tim Lincecum after 2013 the Giants need rotation protection in their minor leagues. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are signed long term, but if Lincecum leaves it would create a glaring hole in the starting rotation that could now very well be filled by Stratton if he advances at the rate the Giants would like.

Of course, drafting pitchers doesn't address the glaring lack of hitting prospects in the system...but baby steps, I guess.