If the San Francisco Giants’ rotation stays intact through the
end of the week, Matt Cain won’t see any action in the upcoming
All-Star Game. That doesn’t mean the right-hander doesn’t belong
among the game’s elite.
Cain carries a scoreless streak of 15 1-3 innings into his start
Tuesday night at AT&T Park, where the NL West-leading Giants
seek a rare home win over the San Diego Padres.
Picked by Giants manager Bruce Bochy – the NL’s manager – to his
second All-Star team Sunday, Cain (7-4, 3.02 ERA) will unlikely be
allowed to pitch in next Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic in Phoenix
because he is also slated to start Sunday versus the New York
Major League Baseball created a rule last season that prevents
pitchers who start the team’s last game before the break from
playing in the All-Star Game.
“You can’t really do anything about how the rotation is set,” he
told the Giants’ official website. “You get the opportunity to go,
be an All-Star and go to the game.”
Cain earned his trip this year by going 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in
six June starts. He has pitched seven innings of four-hit ball in
each of his last two outings, and he has a 0.43 ERA in his last
The Giants (48-38) could use another strong outing from Cain
after losing 5-3 in Monday’s series opener. San Francisco, which
had posted five straight victories at AT&T Park, has dropped 11
of 14 at home to San Diego.
While the Giants hope Cain’s success continues into July, the
Padres (39-47), winners of nine of 12, are looking for the same
from Tim Stauffer (4-5, 2.97). The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.00
ERA in five starts since yielding seven runs in a 7-4 loss to
Houston on June 2.
“Since then, he’s turned it around, he’s making every pitch
count and is trying to get an out with every pitch,” manager Bud
Black told the Padres’ official website after Stauffer yielded one
run and four hits in seven innings of Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over
Stauffer, who last won three consecutive outings Aug. 26-Sept.
6, 2009, gave up four runs over 4 2-3 innings of an 8-4 home loss
to San Francisco on April 6. He is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in six
starts against the Giants.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, 4 for 9 with a homer off Stauffer,
will try to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games after
going 3 for 4 with a two-run homer and double Monday. He is also
looking to become the first Giant since Willie Mays from May
23-June 3, 1954, to get an extra-base hit in 10 consecutive
Padres third baseman Chase Headley is also enjoying a successful
run at the plate, batting .441 (30 for 68) over the last 17 games.
He has six hits in 21 at-bats against Cain.
San Diego left fielder Ryan Ludwick is 5 for 12 with two homers
off the right-hander.