Matt Cain throws five shutout innings in emotional Giants finale

SAN FRANCISCO – Matt Cain’s stoicism always had a higher melting point than most.

Even on an emotional Saturday afternoon, in his final major league start, with adulation filling his ears and nostalgia softening his heart, he remained solid through five shutout innings at AT&T Park.

Then it all pooled. Cain walked off the mound. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said a few words and gave him a hug. Catcher Buster Posey was next to embrace him. And then Cain, in his final moment as a major league pitcher, let it all go.

He took his black Giants hat, the same one he’d worn for 13 seasons and the only one he’d wear as a major league player, and he held it to his chest. Then he flung the cap into the stands.

Final moments on a major league diamond are almost always unscripted and nearly often as messy. This goodbye, amid the Giants’ 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres, was as sparse and tidy as it gets. It was, fittingly for Cain, almost perfect.

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