SAN FRANCISCO There was plenty of speculation about retaliation after Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, when Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday's aggressive take-out slide left Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro with an injured hip.
But Holliday did not end up on the receiving end of any too-far-inside fastballs from Giants pitchers until the sixth inning of the Giants' clinching 9-0 win Monday night, when right-hander Matt Cain plunked Holliday on the left arm in an 0-2 count.
Holliday made his way to first with little reaction as the crowd at AT&T Park cheered and the Fox broadcast showed replays of Holliday's Game 2 slide. Cain, though, said after the game that he did not intend to hit Holliday.
"Just trying to go in right there, and it got away," Cain said.
Cain pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and became the second pitcher in major league history following the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter last season to win multiple winner-take-all games in a single postseason, despite not being at his sharpest.
"He was getting on the side of the ball and leaving some pitches up, and wasn't hitting his spots as well as he normally does," manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "But I think it says a lot about his makeup and how he competes that he found a way to get it done."
Social rooting As Cain delivered an 89-mph strike on his first pitch, the Twitter hashtag #RallyCain ranked as one of the top trending topics in the United States on the social media website, at No. 4.
It continued a swell of support for the Giants on Twitter during the series, the peak coming before Game 5, when the hashtag #RallyZito began trending worldwide in support of Giants left-hander Barry Zito, who went on to pitch 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
That gave way to #RallyEnchiladas before Game 6, a nod to starter Ryan Vogelsong's customary pregame meal, and fans posting a series of enchilada photos to the Twitter page of Vogelsong's wife, Nicole. On Sunday, Nicole Vogelsong wrote on her Twitter page: "Unreal the amount of enchiladas being tweeted to me right now!"
"She was telling me a little bit about it last night with Twitter. But I'm not on Twitter," Ryan Vogelsong, who typically closes himself off before starts, said after Game 6.
"She's been around me long enough to know that this afternoon probably wasn't the best time to show me what was on Twitter," Vogelsong said.
Head games A member of the 1984 San Diego Padres team that beat the Chicago Cubs in a winner-take-all game in the NLCS, Bochy said the biggest difference between playing in and managing such a game is that his "mind is going constantly, trying to think of ways to help your ballclub either before the game or during the game."
One thing Bochy hasn't had to consider much is the names he has written on his lineup card each day. Two years ago, Bochy used six different lineups in the Giants' six NLCS games. In this series, he used the same lineup of position players for every game except Game 4, in which Hector Sanchez started and caught Tim Lincecum.