SEATTLE Matt Cain didnt change anything in his routineafter his 125-pitch perfect game on Wednesday.
He still threw his normal bullpen and did his normal workbetween starts.
With a littleextra media attention, of course. Cain will read the top ten list on the LettermanShow. Itll be taped on Monday before he takes the mound at Anaheim.
Hey, if the guy can swing a golf club and throw a perfectgame three hours later, he can stand at wooden attention in front of a cameraand read off a teleprompter on the day he pitches.
Itll be an event when Cain takes the mound again, and itsonly fitting that he faces a friend and former minor league teammate.
Cains face lit up when I mentioned that hell oppose formerGiant Jerome Williams. At one time, Williams and Jesse Foppert were supposed tobe the Giants aces of the future. It didnt happen, but Cain finally broughtthe franchise out of the pitching doldrums. Boy, did he ever.
As you might recall, Williams was traded to the Cubs in May,2005, with David Aardsma for LaTroy Hawkins. Three months later, Cain made hismajor league debut. But Cain and Williams did play together in the minors for atime.
Cain told me he admires Williams for the way he perseveredthrough independent ball to make his way back to the big leagues. Anyone whosheard his story knows the personal tumult hes been through. I know I cant seea puka shell necklace without thinking of him.
Cain and Williams are linked in one other respect.
I got my first hit off him, Cain said, smiling.
Indeed he did. It was a seventh-inning double and itcame during Cains third big league start Sept. 9, 2005, at China Basin. Cain threwhis first career complete game that day -- Dan Ortmeiers single scored the tiebreakingrun -- to win 2-1 and pick up his second major league victory.
I dug up my game story from that day. This is what Williamshad to say:
I dont like that he got a hit off me, Williams said witha laugh. I told him when I was at Fresno, Just keep pitching like yourepitching and youll be successful for a long time.
Cain listened. And Williams was right.
One more crystal-ball comment from that night in 2005, courtesy of Cubs(and former Giants) manager Dusty Baker:
Outstanding ball game. Outstanding fastball. He located iton the outside when he needed to. We heard he had good stuff and they werentlying. Thats a special young man right there.
Tim Lincecum is a special case, too. But he and Cain aregoing in vastly different directions.
If youre looking for silver linings after Saturday nightsloss to the Mariners, consider this: Lincecum faced 22 batters. He hadthree-ball counts on just three of them.
Yes, the Mariners are a bad offensive team. And Lincecum hasa 6.19 ERA. No amount of bleeders or bad luck can explain that away.
BAGGARLY: Time to skip Lincecum's start?
Still, youd rather have Lincecum embracing positives andworking constructively to make changes instead of hitting the panic button. Byall accounts, hes staying upbeat.
The DH role didnt suite Pablo Sandoval well Saturday night.Even by his free-swinging standards, he was chasing pitches with all the ferocity of WalterWhite swatting at flies in his laboratory.
It stands to reason that Sandoval could be more overanxiouswhen hes not in the flow of the game as the third baseman. I wonder if wellsee him DH again. Im betting no.
Its true, Joaquin Arias couldnt make a backhand play on akey ball in the sixth inning. Maybe Sandoval is able to pick it and beat therunner to third base. Well never know.
The consensus I get from scouts is that Arias has playedbetter defense at third base than Sandoval did in April. Its not that Sandovalis an inferior defender. Its just that he has to prove himself to managementagain. Hes always been a player who responds to a challenge. The Giants arecounting on him to respond this time, and I think he will.
Left-hander Dan Runzler (strained lat) pitched a scorelessinning Saturday while making his third rehab appearance for Single-A San Josein a 3-2 victory over Modesto.
The Giants finished the first half with a 38-32 record andin second place in the Cal Leagues North Division. Unbelievably, this is thefirst time since 2004 that San Jose did not win the first-half title.