Making the most of the little support he’s receiving, Matt Cain moved to 5-0 when the Giants score at least three runs in beating the Nationals on Wednesday. It was his first complete game of 2011 and the 13th of his career.
Today marked the fifth time the Giants have scored exactly three runs through his 13 starts this season. They’ve managed to win each of those games, with Cain getting two no-decisions in the process. They’ve score a total of five runs in his four losses.
Cain helped his own cause in this one, doubling in Eli Whiteside to put the Giants on the board in the bottom of the sixth. The Nationals tied it back up in the seventh on Rick Ankiel’s double, but the Giants scored twice in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1.
Cain ended up throwing 110 pitches in the gem. He reached double figures in strikeouts for the first time since a July 1, 2008 start against the Cubs. His career high for strikeouts is 12, established in a win over the Rockies on Aug. 6, 2006.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.