Giants 3, A’s 2: Accentuating the positives
There was a lot to be happy about after Tuesday’s exhibition at the Oakland Coliseum, so we’ll leave the downer news for later in this post.
But first, happy thoughts.
The Giants won, taking their second straight against the cross-bay rivals, so that’s good.
Matt Cain had a solid outing in his first outing since agreeing to a five-year contract extension on Monday.
“Yeah, it’s a relief,” Cain told the Associated Press. “I definitely have a lot more time here, and that’s awesome. I’m looking forward to it. I think we have that energy. All the guys are feeling good and excited. It was a really cool to see how much (of a reaction) it got from fans and from my teammates. They’re so excited, and it pumps you up. And it makes you ready for the season.”
Cain appeared ready for the season, limiting the A’s to two runs on five hits and one walk over five innings. He struck out six.
Cain was also helped out by a nice throw from center fielder Angel Pagan, who threw out Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes trying to score from second.
And Cain capped his night with a nifty, yet somewhat unnerving, throw out of Coco Crisp.
Crisp squibbed a Cain pitch to the right of the mound. Cain charged to field it, but slipped on the grass. Still, he was able to throw Crisp out at first with a throw from the seat of his pants.
After Cain left, the bullpen again kept Oakland bats quiet with four hitless innings from Clay Hensley, Jeremy Affeldt, Guillermo Mota and Sergio Romo.
All happy, happy times.
OK, now the downer stuff.
For the second night in a row, the Giants still struggled to mount much offense against a pitcher who is battling to be Oakland’s No. 5 starter.
It was nice to see the Giants use a little small ball to score in the first inning. Gregor Blanco led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on Pablo Sandoval’s one-out single.
Yet, after the Giants took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, they had the bases loaded and one out but failed to score when Emmanuel Burriss and Eli Whiteside both failed to put the ball in play.
Oh well. It is still preseason, so even if they pounded the ball all over the year, it wouldn’t mean anything.
- In an interview with CSN’s Amy Gutierrez, Aubrey Huff quipped that “now that I’m an outfielder” he could give tips to the other outfielders. It was just a bit of Huff-like whimsy, but it seemed to indicate that Brandon Belt has made the club. Manager Bruce Bochy said all roster decisions have been reached, but he would not announce them until Wednesday morning prior to the Giants final preseason game.
- Bochy said he got good reports from Barry Zito’s bullpen session Monday in Arizona (he didn’t give up any runs; of course, he didn’t face any batters either). Zito will pitch a minor-league game Wednesday before joining the team in Phoenix for Friday’s opener. Sigh, I guess that means they are going to stick with him to pitch Monday in Colorado.
- Freddy Sanchez played four inning of a minor-league game in Arizona Tuesday. Bochy said while Sanchez showed signs of improvement that he’s still “a couple weeks away.”
- Bochy also said that Hector Sanchez has done enough to make the squad, but whether he does or not depends on how many catchers the Giants keep. “It’s a matter of two or three,” Bochy said. Gee, thanks for clearing that up, Boch. We were thinking it could be one or four.
Yusmeiro Petit will get the start as the Giants face the A’s at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday at AT&T Park.