In their 3-1 win in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals dodged raindrops during a long rain delay and dodged cheap runs when the San Francisco Giants left runners on base Wednesday night. These two things made the loss all-the-tougher to stomach for Giants fans.
San Francisco starter Matt Cain threw 6⅔ innings and gave up three earned runs with the most damaging hit, as it turned out, coming on Cardinals rookie Matt Carpenter's two-run homer in the third inning. It was a good example of a "Caining," or a "tough loss with poor run support," as Grant Brisbee of SB Nation's McCovey Chronicles defines the term in his recap of Game 3, and it was difficult to watch for Giants fans:
"Cainings, by definition, are frustrating. But this was an evolutionary step. The previous titleholder for "most frustrating game of the year" was a start in May where the Giants walked 10 times but lost. That was as frustrating as a fuzzy puppy putting his wet nose on you compared to this game."
"The Giants left two runners on base in four different innings on Wednesday; they left runners on base in every inning until the eighth and ninth innings," Brisbee continued, "when Mike Murphy wheeled out jerseys stuffed with hay so the real hitters didn't have to expend any more energy."
Then came the three-and-a-half-hour rain delay, which Brisbee said only served San Francisco supporters in allowing them to "marinate in the juices of impending doom."
Game 4 is Thursday night at Busch Stadium, with television coverage set to get underway at 7 p.m. CT on Fox.