ST. LOUIS Two potential areas of concern were presented to Giants right-hander Matt Cain on Tuesday in advance of his Game 3 start in the National League Championship Series.
One, would weather forecasts showing an 80 percent chance of rain around the first pitch today affect his preparation?
And two, might he shy away from throwing inside to St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday amid the brouhaha over Holliday's Game 2 slide that injured Marco Scutaro?
No. And no.
Rather, Cain's focus was on having a playoff outing more characteristic of his regular season and taming a Cardinals team that has often vexed him, particularly in its own park, beginning with his first start at the new Busch Stadium in 2008.
Cain allowed nine runs in 3 2/3 innings in that April 18 game and, he recalled Tuesday, "(Albert) Pujols took me to Big Mac Land" in the left-field bleachers.
This postseason, Cain has a 5.06 ERA, and he allowed three home runs in his two starts in the division series against Cincinnati.
While right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has given up just two runs in his two playoff starts, the rest of the Giants' rotation of Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito has allowed 18 runs and seven homers in 21 1/3 innings.
Cain said the starters have "made a lot of mistakes," and that he hoped Vogelsong's seven-inning, one-run outing in Game 2 might serve as a wake-up call.
"That was big for us," Cain said. "We haven't been pulling our weight as a starting staff, and Vogey really did a good job of that yesterday. We all definitely needed that. Hopefully, that really sparks us to all pitch as well as he did."
As for Holliday, with whom Cain has a long head-to-head history, Cain said he won't be dissuaded from pitching in to Holliday by the possibility of it being seen as retaliation. Holliday's late slide into Scutaro left the Giants' second baseman with an injured hip.
"You have to go out there and pitch your game," Cain said. "If something gets away from you inside, that's kind of part of the game. But you've got to be able to pitch inside, and you've got to be able to pitch away. You can't have a fear with doing that."
Lifetime, Holliday is 8 for 40 with three homers and 10 strikeouts against Cain.
"There's always been a challenge, because I've been a guy that's always going to challenge him, and he's a guy that's going to challenge you at the plate," Cain said. "He's not afraid to swing the bat."
Et cetera Giants first-base coach Roberto Kelly was on the field during the team's workout Tuesday. Kelly missed the first two games of the NLCS after being struck on the head by a line drive during the Giants' batting practice Saturday.
Bochy elected not to reveal his starters for Games 4 and 5, saying he will name them after today's game.
Bochy said his decision to start Scutaro today will not hinge on the possibility of bad weather but "more how he feels."