Monday, October 2 2023

What we learned as Cobb stifles Orioles in Giants’ win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Cobb had to wait until nearly the end of spring training to find his big contract when he first hit free agency, but in late March of 2018, the Baltimore Orioles stepped up.

Cobb agreed to a four-year, $57 million deal with the Orioles, and when it was official, he told reporters, “It’s all joy right now.”

There didn’t end up being much of it in his first stint wearing orange and black. Cobb struggled with his health and performance in Baltimore, ultimately getting traded to the Los Angeles Angels. But on Saturday night, he showed his old team that there still was plenty left in the tank.

Cobb took a shutout into the eighth, leading the Giants to a 4-0 win that snapped a three-game skid and evened this series. The latest big night lowered his ERA to 2.71, which ranks fourth in the National League. Cobb didn’t need much support, but the Giants got him some early help.

Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish was 6-0 in 16 career starts outside of the brutal AL East, but the Giants got to him with a long rally in the third inning.

LaMonte Wade Jr. kicked it off with a double and scored on J.D. Davis‘ single to right. After a double by Mike Yastrzemski, Wilmer Flores bounced a two-run single up the middle. Only a leaping catch by Aaron Hicks at the wall in center kept the inning from being a lot worse for Bradish.


Cobblehead Night

Cobb was absolutely dominant the first time through the Orioles’ lineup, striking out four and getting five outs on the ground. The only early hit was a roller from Adley Rutschman that was hit too slowly for Davis to make a play, but Cobb erased him right away with a double play.

Relying primarily on a splitter that had more vertical break than it usually does, Cobb scattered five hits. He threw 59 splitters, with the pitch averaging 34 inches of vertical movement. One was so nasty that Rutschman looked back at the scoreboard after swinging over the top of it, seemingly trying to figure out what he had just seen.

Leadoff LaMonte

A night after hitting Splash 100, Wade reached base four times. He drew a leadoff walk in the first, doubled his next two times up, and then drew another walk in the sixth. The latest big night raised Wade’s on-base percentage to .416.


Wade ranks third in the Majors in OBP, trailing only Miami’s Luis Arraez and San Diego’s Juan Soto, but he still could face an uphill climb in his bid to make his first All-Star team. The first base class in the National League is absolutely loaded, with Wade battling Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso and Matt Olson. Alonso leads the NL in homers and Olson is third. Freeman ranks second in WAR and Goldschmidt, the reigning league MVP, is sixth.

Flo Show

Making just his third start in the last two weeks, Flores had one of his best games of the season. He doubled in the first inning and then made it 3-0 with his second hit. In the fifth, Flores blooped a single to center that fell between three Orioles.

RELATED: History! Wade Jr. blasts Oracle Park’s 100th Splash Hit

The three-hit game was Flores’ first since April 17 and his third of the season. Before the game, manager Gabe Kapler met with Flores to talk about his dwindling playing time. It might be hard to find too many more opportunities with Joc Pederson and Thairo Estrada, but the Giants certainly will be a lot better off if Flores returns to his 2022 form and swings this kind of bat late in games.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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