Home News Alex Cobb throws 2nd career shutout, beats Cardinals

Alex Cobb throws 2nd career shutout, beats Cardinals

by admin

SAN FRANCISCO — Back in 2012, Alex Cobb was a young right-hander who was still attempting to solidify his spot in the Rays’ starting rotation. He feared he’d be sent down to the Minors after enduring a particularly rough start against the Angels, but he rebounded by throwing his first career shutout against the A’s. 

Cobb had to wait more than a decade to record his second career shutout, but his timing again worked out well for the Giants, who extended their winning streak to three games by blanking the Cardinals, 4-0, in Monday night’s series opener at Oracle Park.

Cobb allowed only six hits and one walk over nine innings, joining Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara as the only pitchers to throw a shutout in the Majors this year. The 35-year-old veteran used his fastball-splitter combination to induce 17 ground-ball outs in the 109-pitch effort, which lowered his ERA to 1.91 over five starts this year. 

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

The 10-year, 244-day span that separated Cobb’s first two career shutouts was the third-longest stretch since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.  

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

The Giants received two long-awaited reinforcements on Monday after activating outfielders Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater off the injured list, though their revamped lineup struggled to get much going against Cardinals left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who matched Cobb with six scoreless innings to start the game.

San Francisco finally broke the stalemate in the seventh, when Mike Yastrzemski reached on an error by second baseman Tommy Edman to knock out Montgomery. Joey Bart followed with a double off reliever Drew VerHagen to put runners on second and third with no outs, though the 26-year-old catcher ended up departing with right groin tightness and was replaced by pinch-runner Blake Sabol. 

VerHagen issued an intentional walk to Joc Pederson to load the bases for Haniger, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Giants on the board and record his first RBI for his hometown club. 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 also supported Cobb with his defense, as he made a phenomenal play at third base to help the Giants escape a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth. Davis came in to field a chopper off the bat of Lars Nootbaar and quickly fired to first to get the final out of the inning and keep 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 said. “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,” though Cobb said he wasn’t completely happy with the pitch, which induced only three swinging strikes against the Cardinals. 

“I thought it was not very good, honestly,” Cobb said. “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 count stood at 93 pitches through eight innings, but Kapler elected to send him back out for the ninth and give him a chance to go the distance. Cobb rewarded the Giants’ faith, retiring Willson Contreras, Alec Burleson and Tyler O’Neill in order to cap his masterful performance. 

No Giants reliever ended up touching the bullpen mound thanks to Cobb, who became 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 said. “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.”

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment