SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds rookie shortstop Zack Cozart wasted no time Friday in wrecking the Giants' four-game streak of throwing shutouts. Cozart hit Matt Cain's first pitch for the first leadoff home run of his career.
Cozart didn't fashion himself as a future Rickey Henderson that will often provide instant 1-0 leads.
"I knew that the type of pitcher Cain is, he's going to come at you with a fastball early," Cozart said Saturday morning. "At this ballpark, you don't go up there and expect to hit home runs because the park is colder and the wind is kind of blowing in. When I put a swing on it, I still didn't think I had a home run. It was pretty cool, especially after they had four consecutive shutouts, and we got one-hit shut out the day before."
As it turned out, Cozart heeded some advice from a former Giants player that visited manager Dusty Baker in the clubhouse. Baker likes when former hitters talk to his players about their approaches.
"Marvin Bernard was here talking to Cozart yesterday about looking for the fastball," Baker said. "He told Cozart, 'If I'm facing Matt Cain, he's not getting ahead of me, because he has too many weapons to work with.' He threw two first-pitch fastballs and one of them went over the fence. The key is to concentrate to the point of getting a good pitch to hit and not just swinging at the first pitch."