Well, this is a rarity.
For the first time since 2008, the Giants took a series against the Rockies at Coors Field. Last year, the Giants went 3-6 at the mile-high stadium.
In a sharp contrast to last night's traditional slugfest in Colorado, pitching had the upper-hand today. Matt Cain took a no-hitter into the eighth inning only to be broken up by an infield single by Jay Payton. Juan Uribe got to the ball hit up-the-middle to his left, but double clutched and could not throw the runner out at first. This is the second time Payton has broken up a Matt Cain no-hitter. He did it last when he was a member of the A's.
The Giants set the tone offensively in the very first inning. After Jorge De La Rosa (8-6) walked the lead-off hitter, Freddy Sanchez took an inside fastball and hooked it fair down the left-field line for a 2 run home-run, giving the Giants an early 2-0 lead.
The Giants would add another run in the 3rd inning. After Aubrey Huff doubled to right-center to lead-off the inning, Buster Posey hit a come-backer. De La Rosa had Huff trapped between second and third, but the Rockies botched the rundown and Huff was safe at third. Huff appeared to not beat the tag at third, but 3rd base umpire Wally Bell called him safe. The next batter, Pat Burrell, hit a sac-fly, scoring Huff and giving the Giants a 3-0 lead.
The Giants capped their scoring in the top of the 7th inning. With 1 out, Cody Ross hit an opposite field home-run into the right-center field bullpen, increasing the Giants' lead to 4-0.
Despite Matt Cain (13-10) losing his no-hit bid in the eighth, he pitched a complete game 3-hitter. In his complete effort, Cain surrendered just 2 runs and 1 walk, while striking out 8. His 8th and final strikeout was a big one that ended the game, as he froze Jason Giambi on a perfectly located curveball on the inside corner. Carlos Gonzales, who singled, was on first at the time.
With the Padres losing 12-2 to the Reds, the Giants regained the NL West lead by a half-game. With 6 left to play, the pennant chase is far from over. Giants fans, stay tuned.
I am not going to talk about the humidor issue anymore. It's over. Major League Baseball got involved, made sure the Rockies weren't cheating, and the balls used were fair game. Not to mention, the Giants took 2/3 in Denver. No complaints here.
Matt Cain just proved that he's the ace of the San Francisco Giants. He did two things to prove that to me. In the fifth inning, when he made a throwing error on a come-backer, he bared down and promptly struck out the next guy Jason Giambi (although Tulowitzki, the runner at first, stole second). He walked the next hitter, but with runners at first and second with 1 out, he struck out the next two hitters, striking out the side and halting the rally. Secondly, after he gave up the hit to Payton, he was able to finish out the game even though he gave up a 2-run homer to Melvin Mora. He handled the adversity very well and stepped up, like a true ace should. He was fearless and unfazed by potential Rockies' rallies. Many pitchers would fall apart and need their bullpen to clean up the mess. Not Cain.
This and That
The season season series between the Giants and Rockies is tied at 9. The Giants took their first series at Coors Field this year. For the first time since 2004, the Giants will have a winning road record this year at 43-38. Tuesday, the Giants send Jonathan Sanchez against the Diamonbacks' Rodrigo Lopez.