SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Giants will hand the baseball to Matt Cain when they open the season April 1 at Dodger Stadium, manager Bruce Bochy confirmed Monday afternoon.
It’ll be the first career opening-day start for Cain, the club’s longest tenured player. Tim Lincecum started the previous four opening days and Barry Zito received the honor in the two years before that.
It might be an obvious call given Cain’s dream 2012 season, which included a perfect game and an All-Star starting assignment for the NL to go with a 16-5 record and 2.79 ERA. Cain took the mound in each of the Giants’ three playoff-clinching victories, too.
But it wasn’t a total afterthought, Bochy said. And that’s a reflection on the quality of their rotation, along with the respect the organization has for each member of the starting five.
“Every one of them can be an opening-day guy,” Bochy said. “I really feel that way. I’m not just saying it to say it. Timmy has done it, Z has done it, (Madison) Bumgarner is someone who can, and (Ryan) Vogelsong, you just look at the way he threw for us in the playoffs.
“That’s why I don’t get caught in numbers. We don’t look at any of them as a one or a four or a five. It’s a compliment to how good they are.”
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The Dodgers already announced that left-hander Clayton Kershaw would oppose the Giants on opening day when the two archrivals and NL West heavyweights meet for the first of 19 games.
After a three-game series in LA, the Giants will return home to raise the World Series banner and get their rings against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Whom is Bochy considering for the home opener?
“We’re bringing Cain back on early rest,” he said, joking.