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Cobb deals deals deals, Longoria returns, Giants complete sweep

Alex Cobb continues to stymie hitters in Giants 7-1 win over Colorado

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants are looking more and more like themselves these days. LaMonte Wade Jr. at the top of the batting order, Evan Longoria back at third, no City Connect jerseys—Wednesday’s day game victory over the Colorado Rockies was essentially drawn up in the clubhouse laboratory by Doctor Scientist Gabe Kapler and faculty.

Under Bay blue skies, adorned in the classic cream-colored home duds, the Giants offense put together a series of quality at-bats to chase a compelling starter early, while Alex Cobb attacked the strike zone with his sinker-splitter combo, generating weak contact from Colorado hitters for 5-plus innings before the bullpen puzzle pieces fell into place to complete the 7-1 win and three game sweep over a division rival.

That paragraph was one sentence.

Colorado starter Chad Kuhl pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 3 and K-ing 8. That stat line is misleading—his hard slider and strikeout allowed him to cruise out of trouble through the first three innings. But San Francisco broke through in the fourth inning for 3 runs by a series of pesky at-bats.

After a lead-off walk by Mike Yastrzemski, Kuhl slowed everything down.

In a 1-1 count to Thairo Estrada, a total of 2 minutes and 32 seconds passed before his third pitch approached the plate. After three unsuccessful pick-offs, his fourth attempt sailed wide. The ball ended up out-of-play behind first base andYaz took second.

Pick-off attempts… Long looks into the catcher… Deliberate pauses after coming set…the whole scene would’ve sent Rob Manfred into panicked sweats.

Estrada’s 6 pitch at-bat concluded with a single and that was just the beginning. Bats pestered him for the rest of his outing. Brandon Crawford brought in Yastrzemski from third on a grounder to first base that visibly upset Kuhl’s cool. Luis Gonzalez forced him to throw 8 pitches before striking out, setting up a Joey Bart RBI single laced up the middle.

Joey Bart’s RBI single was his first hit in May and the first one of his season to come on an 0-2 count. He was due and a little bit of a relief after Curt Casali’s 3-hit night yesterday. Bart still struck out twice.

Brandon Belt tacked on another run in the 4th with a sacrifice fly after a LaMonte Wade Jr. walk.

Chad Kuhl was pulled the next inning after giving up a two run homer to Brandon Crawford on the 8th pitch of the at-bat. He had thrown 101 pitches. The Giants tacked on two more runs in the 8th against Daniel Bard.

Alex Cobb threw 85 pitches over 5.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts. If you’re looking for something fun to do on the weekends, poke around Cobb’s Baseball Savant page. His 2022 line is a brick wall of Statcast statistics registering in the top 1% of the Major Leagues.

His ERA entering Wednesday’s game was an inflated 4.80 while his expected ERA (xERA) was a dominant 1.27. A large discrepancy between those stats means the pitcher has done most things right while little has gone right for him (see his game against New York). Cobb has faced 80 batters and allowed 1 home run. He’s struck out 28 over 20 innings pitched. Now I’m not quite sure what this means, but out of 41 batted balls this season, not one of Cobb’s pitches has been barreled by an opposing hitter. This is a good thing.

The Giants have an off day tomorrow. After playing consecutive series against the Cardinals and Rockies at home, they hit the road to play consecutive series against the Cardinals and Rockies not-at-home.