Cain’s Sunday start confirmed; Johnson needs more time
PITTSBURGH — Right-hander Matt Cain was universally pronounced fit to start Sunday’s series finale here, now that he has shaken off the effects of being hit by a line drive in his pitching arm.
“I should be fine,” said Cain, who threw a regular between-starts bullpen session Thursday during the Giants’ workout at PNC Park. “I have swelling [in the arm], but nothing out of the ordinary.”
The Giants anticipated days ago that Cain, who took a direct hit last Saturday from a line drive off the bat of San Diego’s Tim Stauffer, would be able to face Pittsburgh, though he was forbidden from performing in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Despite the widespread confidence, prompted when X-rays taken of Cain’s arm were negative, Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged that the 25-year-old’s condition was a “slight concern.”
Cain admitted that he “kind of wondered what it would be like going full speed.” Overall, though, he sensed no hidden trouble. “I wasn’t really that worried about it,” he said. “My range of motion was fine.”
By contrast, left-hander Randy Johnson is still recuperating from his strained left shoulder and isn’t expected to join the Giants on their three-city, 10-game trip.
Obviously, Bochy admitted, Johnson will need more than three weeks — the most optimistic estimate given for his recovery — to return to the mound. Sunday will mark two weeks since Johnson grabbed his shoulder and took himself out of a game against Houston.
– Chris Haft