Almost to the day of the four-year anniversary of his 2012 perfect game, Matt Cain received some bad news. He had taken the mound to face the Brewers and threw 83 pitches in 3.2 IP, departing in the fourth having allowed 3 ER and 5 BB.
Tuesday it was announced that an MRI revealed what manager Bruce Bochy called a “mild strain” of Cain’s hamstring, which had been pumping out enough pain for Cain to say something after his start (which had come only one day after departing from the same disabled list to which he will now return).
Already having missed two starts due to injury, Cain’s absence will be felt in the rotation as the Giants summoned rookie right-hander Chris Stratton from Triple-A Sacramento and fans were left saddened, if a bit poetic.
Matt Cain was a cinnamon roll too beautiful, too pure.— Sarah W. (@toasterposey) June 15, 2016
Meanwhile, the Giants did see the return of outfielder Angel Pagan last night, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 3-2 win over the Brewers. Pagan had pleaded with Bochy to slip him back into the lineup, despite the Giants’ plan being for Pagan not to return from his hamstring strain until Wednesday. The 34-year-old veteran worked his magic and got himself slotted into the seven-hole, scrambling home in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch to score what would be the winning run.
Pagan's desperation to return could not have come at a better time; the Giants were getting next to no help from the corner outfield solutions they could generate in Pagan and Hunter Pence’s absences. The man Pagan replaced on Tuesday night, Mac Williamson, had been hitting .167 in 14 games.
The swarm of injury bugs hovering around the Giants would not subside, however, as Brandon Belt took a Carlos Torres pitch off his foot last night in the bottom of the sixth. Naturally, people thought the worst when Belt - who is hitting .301 and helping lead the San Francisco offense - collapsed in a heap and needed to be examined by trainers, but somehow the Giants avoided disaster as Belt’s X-rays showed no fracture.
Obviously, precautions were taken anyway - the offense had already taken a hit with Pence’s prolonged absence due to a hamstring tear - and Belt left the game, being gifted a mini scooter to get around the clubhouse.
“This thing is sweet.”
—Brandon Belt on scooter that sounds pretty sweet