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News » Brewers-Giants Preview 2009-04-09

Brewers-Giants Preview 2009-04-09

Brewers-Giants Preview 2009-04-09
Matt Cain is regarded as one of the top young pitchers in the majors, but his record over the past two seasons hasn't backed up that status thanks to a lack of run support from his San Francisco Giants teammates.

After the Giants struggled at the plate in their last game, the 24-year-old right-hander hopes to avoid more misfortune Thursday night when San Francisco hosts the Milwaukee Brewers in the decisive contest of their three-game set.

Cain went 8-14 with a 3.76 ERA in 34 starts last season, and has started at least 32 games in each of his last three years. For the second straight year, however, Cain received the second-lowest run support in the majors.

Since the start of the 2007 season, the Giants scored one or no runs in 29 of Cain's 66 starts. He's 15-30 with a 3.71 ERA during that span after winning 13 games in 2006.

"You'd love to get five or six runs every game, but ... that's not the way the game is. It just doesn't work that way," Cain told the Giants' official Web site. "When you lose a game, you think about what you could have done better - instead of pointing the finger at someone else."

Facing Milwaukee (1-1) could add to the challenge for Cain, who is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA against the Brewers.

Starter Yovani Gallardo and three relievers stymied San Francisco in the Brewers' 4-2 victory on Wednesday, two days after the Giants' 10-6 season-opening win.

Gallardo hit a three-run homer off Randy Johnson on Wednesday to spoil the Big Unit's San Francisco debut. Mike Cameron also homered and Ryan Braun added two hits for the Brewers, who totaled just five.

Braun is 4-for-8 with two doubles in the series, and 1-for-2 with a triple against Cain. Cameron, though, is 2-for-23 with nine strikeouts against him.

Randy Winn stole two bases and had an RBI single, and Aaron Rowand went 2-for-4 on Wednesday for the Giants (1-1), whose 640 runs in 2008 were the second-lowest in the majors behind San Diego (637).

Rowand is 4-for-7 with three doubles in the series, and 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs against Milwaukee's scheduled starter Manny Parra.

A Sacramento, Calif., native, Parra is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA against San Francisco as a starter.

The left-hander bounced between the rotation and bullpen last season, going 10-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 32 games with 29 starts for Milwaukee.

Despite the winning record, Parra struggled in the second half of 2008. He was 8-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 18 starts prior to the All-Star break and 2-6 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts the rest of the way.

Parra spent much of the spring trying to fine tune his changeup to go along with an already solid fastball.

"Obviously my fastball is my primary pitch, but the changeup is right there and I want to feel as comfortable throwing that as my fastball," he told the Brewers' official Web site.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009

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