Giants right-hander Matt Cain was placed on the disabled list yesterday due to a cut on his right index finger, but he told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle this afternoon that he fully expects to return to start Saturday against the Dodgers. His last start was on April 23, so that would be one day after he’s first eligible.
As Cain told Schulman, he injured his finger with a kitchen knife while trying to make “fancy” triangles in his sandwich last Tuesday. The initial hope was that he would be able to return tonight against the Pirates, but he felt that the wound was about to open up when he threw yesterday without a protective device on his finger, so the Giants decided to play things safe. Yusmiero Petit will start in his place tonight.
Cain owns a 4.35 ERA and 25/10 K/BB ratio in 31 innings through his first five starts this season.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.