Sunday, May 5

Very long time coming: Cobb will get 2nd shutout, 10-plus years after 1st

SAN FRANCISCO — Back in 2012, Alex Cobb was a younger right-hander who was nonetheless making an attempt to solidify his spot within the Rays’ beginning rotation. He feared he’d be despatched right down to the Minors after enduring a very tough begin towards the Angels, however he rebounded by throwing his first profession shutout towards the A’s. 

Cobb needed to wait greater than a decade to report his second profession shutout, however his timing once more labored out nicely for the Giants, who prolonged their successful streak to a few video games by blanking the Cardinals, 4-0, in Monday evening’s collection opener at Oracle Park.

Cobb allowed solely six hits and one stroll over 9 innings, becoming a member of Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara as the one pitchers to throw a shutout within the Majors this 12 months. The 35-year-old veteran used his fastball-splitter mixture to induce 17 ground-ball outs within the 109-pitch effort, which lowered his ERA to 1.91 over 5 begins this 12 months. 

“It was one of the better pitching performances that we’ve seen in the last several years,” supervisor Gabe Kapler mentioned.

The 10-year, 244-day span that separated Cobb’s first two profession shutouts was the third-longest stretch since 1900, in keeping with the Elias Sports Bureau. The solely longer spans had been 12 years and 7 days by Bill F. Bailey between 1909 and 1921, and 10 years and 356 days by Carmen Hill between 1915 and 1926.

“That was a long time ago,” Cobb mentioned of his Aug. 23, 2012, gem towards the A’s. “I didn’t realize that was the last one. I need to be better.”

The Giants acquired two long-awaited reinforcements on Monday after activating outfielders Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater off the injured checklist, although their revamped lineup struggled to get a lot going towards Cardinals left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who matched Cobb with six scoreless innings to start out the sport.

San Francisco lastly broke the stalemate within the seventh, when Mike Yastrzemski reached on an error by second baseman Tommy Edman to knock out Montgomery. Joey Bart adopted with a double off reliever Drew VerHagen to place runners on second and third with no outs, although the 26-year-old catcher ended up departing with proper groin tightness and was changed by pinch-runner Blake Sabol. 

VerHagen issued an intentional stroll to Joc Pederson to load the bases for Haniger, who lifted a sacrifice fly to proper area to place the Giants on the board and report his first RBI for his hometown membership. J.D. Davis then smoked a 2-0 cutter from VerHagen over the left-field fence for a three-run homer that capped San Francisco’s four-run rally.

Davis additionally supported Cobb together with his protection, as he made an exceptional play at third base to assist the Giants escape a two-out, bases-loaded jam within the fifth. Davis got here in to area a chopper off the bat of Lars Nootbaar and shortly fired to first to get the ultimate out of the inning and preserve Cobb’s shutout bid intact. 

“One obvious difference from some of the outings that Cobb has had like that in the past is we just made all the plays behind him,” Kapler mentioned. “That made the biggest difference. J.D. Davis has been playing Gold Glove-caliber defense. Nothing short of that.”

Kapler described Cobb’s splitter as “excellent,” although Cobb mentioned he wasn’t utterly pleased with the pitch, which induced solely three swinging strikes towards the Cardinals. 

“I thought it was not very good, honestly,” Cobb mentioned. “It was getting enough action to get some ground balls. It wasn’t getting the action to get the swing-and-miss. That probably led to the ability to throw a CG because you get swing-and-misses and you get added pitches, but you have to get really fortunate with guys making plays behind you.”

Cobb’s pitch rely stood at 93 pitches by means of eight innings, however Kapler elected to ship him again out for the ninth and provides him an opportunity to go the gap. Cobb rewarded the Giants’ religion, retiring Willson Contreras, Alec Burleson and Tyler O’Neill with a purpose to cap his masterful efficiency. 

No Giants reliever ended up touching the bullpen mound because of Cobb, who grew to become the oldest Giant to throw a shutout since 36-year-old Mark Gardner on Aug. 14, 1998.

“You just feel a boost of confidence that Kap trusts you in that situation, that he wants you to go out there and finish it,” Cobb mentioned. “It’s exhausting to be working that deep in the game, especially with the pitch count. When you get that boost of confidence and adrenaline from knowing that you’re going to have to finish two more innings and you have the trust of the team, then you’re able to dig a little bit deeper and try to go prove them right.”

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