MESA, Ariz. — The box score line was a bit of a mess, but Matt Cain’s arm told him that Saturday was a good day.
Cain felt strong after being charged with four earned on six hits in 1 2/3 innings at HoHoKam Stadium, and said he feels he has enough time to get his arm up to speed before his first start, which likely will come April 8 in Phoenix. The Giants want Cain to get up to the 90-pitch range by the end of the spring, and on Saturday he reached 44 before being pulled.
“I liked what I saw, to be honest,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s on his way. He looks good. I liked his delivery today.”
Cain missed with a few two-strike pitches, but the rough day actually could have been a bit of a blessing. His first outing went by so quickly — 20 pitches through two innings — that Cain barely had a chance to break a sweat and test his stamina.
“I got to pretty much work on every scenario (today),” he said. “I’ve just got to make better pitches. I didn’t make some pitches that I wanted to.”
Bochy said the most important thing right now is that Cain’s elbow — from which bone chips were removed last August — feels great.
“He was fine,” Bochy said. “He left a couple pitches up with two strikes but he looked really good at times. The key is he’s healthy … we’ve got time to get him where we want.”