National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 13th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4) at San Francisco Giants (2-4), 4:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - James McDonald (0-0, 3.00)
San Francisco - Matt Cain (0-0, 7.50)
(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants are still waiting for the first
positive return on their massive investment in starter Matt Cain.
Cain aims to shake off a rough season debut this afternoon in his club's home
opener, which comes in the first of three straight against the Pittsburgh
A 2002 first-round draft pick, Cain has morphed into one of the top right-
handers in the game. He owns a career earned run average of 3.37 in 205 games,
going 12-11 in 33 starts last year with an outstanding 2.88 ERA. He also
struck out 179 to match the second-highest total of his career.
That earned Cain an extension from the Giants through 2017 that will pay the
27-year-old $127.5 million.
Cain took the mound last Sunday for the first time since inking the deal, but
was drilled for five runs on six hits -- including two homers -- on six hits
over six innings of a no-decision at Arizona after getting staked to a 6-0
He'll look to rebound tonight versus the Pirates, who he is 1-2 against with a
3.63 ERA in eight starts.
The Giants return home after beginning the season with a 2-4 road trip. They
were swept in Arizona in their first series before taking two of three in
Colorado. San Francisco's second victory of the season came on Thursday, a 4-2
win in which 22-year starter Madison Bumgarner got the best of 49-year-old
Rockies starter Jamie Moyer.
Bumgarner (1-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and gave up just one
run on four hits and two walks in 7 1/3 to beat Moyer, who was in his fourth
MLB season already by the time the Giants starter was even born.
"It was pretty cool to throw against him," said Bumgarner. "I can see why he's
Melky Cabrera was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Brandon Crawford also had two hits
and a run scored for the Giants.
The Pirates arrive in San Francisco still looking for their first road win of
the season. Pittsburgh opened its campaign by taking two of three at home over
Philadelphia, but was swept in three games at Los Angeles to begin a nine-game
trek out west that ends next week in Arizona.
Five of the Pirates' first six games have been decided by just a single run,
including yesterday's 3-2 setback. Pittsburgh has allowed just 15 runs through
its first six games, but has plated only 11.
The Dodgers got all of their runs in the first inning off Pirates' starter
Jeff Karstens, who settled down after the rough beginning to yield seven hits
over five frames.
"In the first inning his changeup was good, but he got some elevated and they
got good swings on it," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "They put them
in places we weren't. After that, he was solid."
Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 with a run scored while Michael McKenry hit a
solo homer in the loss. McCutchen has reached base safely in all six games so
far and has a hit in five straight, batting .474 in that span.
The Pirates go with James McDonald for this opener and the righty made a solid
season debut versus the Phillies last Sunday. McDonald gave up two runs on
four hits and two walks over six innings, getting a no-decision in his team's
eventual 5-4 victory.
A former Dodger, the 27-year-old has faced the Giants 10 times in his career
with three starts. He is 1-2 over that time with a 3.08 ERA.
These two clubs split their six meetings a season ago, with the Giants winning
two of three at home. San Francisco has won eight of its past 11 at home
04/13 10:52:57 ET