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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.