How great was Alex Cobb in last night’s 4-0 Giants win over the Cardinals at Willie Mays Field. He was simply the best he’s ever been as a Giant, as in complete game shutout great, as in 109 pitches thrown with 70 for strikeouts and allowing only six hits great! We’re talking near Maddux-level great, where pitching a Maddux means throwing a complete game shutout with less than 100 pitches. The win evened his record at 1-1 and lowered his ERA to a Timmy-like 1.91. That’s just phenomenal. At this stage of the season it’s fair to say Cobb has been the best starting pitcher for the Giants.
We need to acknowledge the brass balls of Managing that Gabe Kapler demonstrated by keeping Cobb in after the Giants plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh in what was a pitcher’s duel at the time. When Cobb ended the top of the 8th inning everyone, including yours truly, thought he was done for the night.
Cobb came out to end the game in the top of the ninth and he did it with a clean inning. Ball game.
If you want a hint of what was to be on this night when it came to Cobb’s stuff watch his strikeout of Paul MVP Goldschmidt. It came on a rising 96-MPH heater out over the outside corner that the Cardinal first baseman waved at helplessly. It was nasty. I never realized Cobb’s fastball got that spicy.
Alex put on a show last night #SFGiants x @budweiserusa pic.twitter.com/W4hyvMhsnY
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 25, 2023
Let’s say it now: Alex Cobb might be the best of Farhan Zaidi’s free agent signings, even topping Gausman and Rodon in terms of long-term impact for the Giants.
The Giant Runs
The Giants won the game thanks to a four-run seventh inning that started seemingly harmlessly enough with a routine grounder by Yaz to Cardinal second baseman Tommy Edman. Harmless it was not. Edman flubbed the grounder by clanking an in-between hop and since Yaz was running hard he beat the throw. E-4, Giants rally starts. Joey Bart then hit a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with nobody out. It would turn out to be a painful double for the Giant catcher as he pulled his groin on the play and had to leave the game. The next batter, Joc Pederson was walked intentionally. Thairo Estrada then struck out and we were all thinking, oh no, here we go again: The Giants are going to come up empty in a bases loaded, nobody out situation.
Mitch Haniger hit a sac fly to right that scored the first run and gave the big guy his first ribby as a Giant. Congrats to Mitch and his family. Let’s hope there are plenty more! The big stroke, however came with two outs and on a 2-0 pitch that J. D. Davis cranked for a home run to left. That long ball came on a 90 MPH slurveball on the inside corner that had “hit me” written all over it. Davis does not miss many of those.
Jonathan Dawg Davis pic.twitter.com/RjtPsEMd3W
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) April 25, 2023
The win gives the Giants three in a row and pushes them closer to that legendary .500 mark at 9-13.
The Giants Have a Catching Problem
Just when the Giants get going and Joey Bart is solidifying the catching position, he suffers an injury that Gabe Kapler called “a groin stran.” I have had groin injuries and they hurt. They also take time to recover. The Giants now have a mean predicament at the backstop position. Who takes over? Will it be Bratt “Catcher’s Interference” Sabol? Will it be Gary, “Passed Ball” Sanchez? Or will it be a guy named Patrick Bailey that the Giants call up from the Minors? Either way it’s not a good position to be in and I am sure Farhan Zaidi is regretting letting Austin Wynns walk, especially as the latter is now starting for the Dodgers and helping them win games.
Tonight will be game 2 of the four-game series with Jake Woodford of the Cardinals facing John Brebbia.