Cain's All-Star status in doubt

Updated: July 12, 2009, 1:16 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain left his start against San Diego on Saturday after getting hit by a liner in his pitching arm during the second inning, putting his status for the All-Star game in doubt.

A team spokesman said Cain had X-rays taken which showed no significant damage and the injury was diagnosed as a bruise.

"There's no break or fracture there, so that's good news," manager Bruce Bochy said. "As far as the All-Star game ... we'll know more tomorrow but I'd say right now it's doubtful. I'm sure he'll make this trip ... but he's going to need a few days. He's going to be pretty sore."

Cain, who came in tied for the second-most wins in the National League, was hit just above his right elbow by San Diego pitcher Tim Stauffer's line drive with two outs. The ball ricocheted off Cain toward the third-base dugout as the Giants pitcher grimaced in pain while walking around on the field.

Cain then circled back behind the pitcher's mound where he was met by trainer Dave Groeschner, Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti. After a brief conversation, Cain attempted to throw a warmup pitch, but the ball sailed over the head of catcher Eli Whiteside and hit the backstop.

Cain left with numbness in his fingers in the shortest start of his career, but later said he had regained feeling in his hand.

Cain was selected to his first All-Star game last Sunday after winning 10 of his first 12 decisions. He and 2008 NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum are the only two San Francisco players going.

Lincecum could start Tuesday for the NL while Cain may be reduced to a spectator's role.

"I'm going to try to stay more hopeful than doubtful," Cain said. "Doubtful just seems kind of negative. I feel like I've heard that when I was a little kid and it never works out well. It'd be great to go and throw, I'd really love to, but with the situation we're in here, for my guys and the team it'd be better to take the time and get it right."

The Giants own the second-best record in the NL and pulled within six games of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West after beating San Diego 2-1 on Saturday.

Cain (10-2) has been a big reason for San Francisco's success and Bochy would prefer the Giants take a cautious approach with him.

"We're not going to put him in harm's way if we don't think he's right," Bochy said. "He's too valuable. He's had too good a half for us. If we don't think he should pitch, he's not going to pitch, as much as he may battle that. He means too much to us."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE