ST. LOUIS -- The sight of Giants starter Matt Cain and Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday staring each other down conjures the image of two Wild West gunfighters confronting each other at 20 paces.
Holliday has accumulated 47 career plate appearances against Cain, tied for the eighth most among all hitters the right-hander has faced. Cain would appear to have gotten the best of Holliday, who's hitting .200 (8-for-40) off him. But Holliday also has homered three times off Cain, who's scheduled to start Wednesday's Game 3.
"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. Sometimes it depends on if you throw the ball where you want to, because if you don't, he swings hard and he's going to take advantage of it. And it's usually not going to be a little sloppy single. It's going to be something that is going off the wall or over it."
Cain wasn't concerned about the impression he might leave if he flings a pitch that travels a little too far inside toward Holliday. It could be interpreted as retaliation for Holliday's physical Game 2 slide into second baseman Marco Scutaro.
"You have to pitch your game," Cain said. "If something gets away from you inside, that's kind of part of the game. 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."