Cain virtually assured of NLCS Game 3 start

Cain virtually assured of NLCS Game 3 start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though manager Bruce Bochy declined to name his starting pitcher for Wednesday's Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at St. Louis, all signs pointed to Matt Cain receiving the assignment.

The most obvious sign was the package of Giants pregame notes, which listed Cain as the Game 3 starter.

Cain, who started Games 1 and 5 in the Division Series against Cincinnati, has developed into San Francisco's staff ace. He will not have received his normal four days' rest until Tuesday, which happens to be an open date in the NLCS schedule. Thus, Game 3 would be the earliest day Cain could pitch.

With Cain pitching Game 3, he will have his full four days' rest in time to start Game 7, if it becomes necessary.

Cain, 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in his pair of Division Series starts against Cincinnati, was 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA during the regular season. He faced St. Louis twice this year, posting a 1-1 record with a 6.94 ERA. For his career, Cain is 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA in eight starts against St. Louis.