"It was nice to see that he walked off the field," Cain said. "Hopefully he'll be all right.""We felt terrible," Bochy said, recounting the widespread feeling in the Giants' dugout. "That's the last thing you want to see. Unfortunately in this game, pitches get away." Several Giants (63-53) pointed out that with a runner on first base, nobody out and the teams locked in a scoreless tie, Cain had no reason to hit Wright purposely. The Mets knew this, too. "I've known Matt Cain for a long time," Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "Obviously, I'm sure that no one feels worse than he does." "I don't think he had any intention to hit him, not at all," Santana said. So why did Santana throw behind Sandoval? "I'm protecting my teammates regardless [of intent]," Santana said. "So that's the way I play the game. ... You just got to find the right way and the right time to do it." Sandoval, who reacted angrily Wednesday after Dodgers right-hander James McDonald pitched inside to him, remained placid this time. Nevertheless, Molina, Sandoval's mentor who was waiting on deck, felt compelled to urge Sandoval to stay calm. Molina didn't need to.
"That ball passed behind me; I just calmed down myself," Sandoval said.Sandoval insisted that he derived no vengeful sense of triumph from homering on Santana's 2-0 pitch. "Normal," he said, explaining his feelings. Referring to Santana's malevolent fastball, Sandoval said, "That's part of the game." Said Bochy, "Pablo's not going to get intimidated. He's as tough as they come. It was a great at-bat for him, to get thrown behind him and step up there and hit a home run." Bochy wasn't so thrilled when Santana hit Molina.
"I can't sit there and watch my guys get thrown at, especially after a warning," Bochy said, relating that O'Nora told him that he didn't think Santana hit Molina intentionally.Santana denied trying to plunk Molina, saying that he was trying to pitch inside.
"I didn't have any intention to hit him at all," Santana said.Like Sandoval, Molina expressed no ill will toward Santana: "No hard feelings. Santana is a pro, man. He's defending his players."
In fact, Molina sensed that, as the Giants' key hitters, either he or Sandoval was going to get hit by a pitch to even the score.
"I actually thought to myself, 'I hope it's me because I don't want any trouble,'" said Molina, trusting himself to remain dignified.Molina's only violent act was the vicious swing he put on Rodriguez's 0-1 fastball in the 10th. Asked if being Rodriguez's former Angels batterymate helped his plate approach, Molina said that facing his ex-teammate and grounding out in Friday night's ninth inning helped more. "He threw four fastballs by me, and I couldn't see them," Molina recalled. "I said, 'You know what? He might feel the same way today.' So I was just sitting on 95 [mph]. If he had thrown any other pitch, I would have been the first out of the inning."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.