PHOENIX -- For much of his career, Matt Cain hasn't been accustomed to the Giants giving him many runs. So he must have been in seventh heaven Friday night when Pablo Sandoval staked him to a lead with a three-run homer in the first inning.
For the third day in a row, the San Francisco Giants' winning blueprint came into fruition. The Giants scored first, Matt Cain threw a tremendous game, the defense played flawlessly, and the bullpen shut the door.
Of course, this formula would make any team successful.
Watching Pablo Sandoval mash the ball again is an extremely positive sign. He is now hitting .356, hitting the ball with power, and playing a gold-glove caliber third base. The Panda is back.
Aside from today's game, I wanted to talk about something else I noticed.
Watching this game in Arizona was a far cry from the way things were in the desert in year's past. Back in the late '90s and early 2000s, the Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks were rivals always competing for the top spot in the National League West. Every game between the two clubs brought excitement, drama, and rowdy crowds. Not anymore.
Tonight's game drew just 23,090 fans, and only a fraction of those fans actually showed up. The Diamondbacks' fans were pretty uninspiring, and it is no wonder why their team sleepwalked their way through tonight's game.
Such is the shame of losing. Just a few years ago, the Diamondbacks were one of the best teams in the National League, but now, everyone in Arizona seemed to have just about given up.
As for Giants fans, it is just the opposite, as even a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates would generate an all-out party at the corner of Third and King.
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