With more than seven years of perspective as a major-leaguer and two World Series titles, Matt Cain could step back from the frustration and nothingness of the Giants' 4-0 loss to the Dodgers and reflect on his first Opening Day start.
"It was great to have," Cain said. "I've seen some guys do it, and I wondered what it felt like. There's always a lot of hype, maybe a little over-reporting leading up to the game. But that's the fun part of it. It was a great experience. I enjoyed it."
Not as much as Clayton Kershaw, though. The registered Giants-nemesis, who is expected soon to sign an eleventy-gazillion-dollar contract extension, had the game of a lifetime Monday as he spoiled San Francisco's opener at Dodger Stadium for the second time in three seasons.
He broke a 0-0 tie when he hit George Kontos' first pitch of the eighth inning over the center-field wall for his first home run since high school, other than one he hit in spring training four years ago, to launch a four-run inning.
Kershaw then trotted to the mound to a deafening ovation from 53,138 fans and completed a four-hitter so dominant that only one Giant, Pablo Sandoval, reached second base, in the first inning.
Kershaw became the first pitcher to hit a home run and throw a shutout on Opening Day since Cleveland's Bob Lemon in 1953. Kershaw also lowered his career ERA against the Giants to 1.28, the best by any pitcher in history who has thrown at least 50 innings against them.