SAN FRANCISCO — Oracle Park was still buzzing the morning after Alex Cobb’s near no-hitter. Though he was an out away from completing the rare feat, his complete game one-hitter, and Giants third straight win, signaled a rejuvenation.
The Giants had lost seven straight series heading into the three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds. When rookie Kyle Harrison dazzled in Monday’s opener, 35-year-old Cobb wondered how he could top it.
“I was watching his game last night thinking I can’t believe I have to follow this outing,” Cobb said on Tuesday. “Electric fans, hometown kid. Punched out every single player he faced.”
With one of his best splitters going, Cobb kept the juju going and spun together arguably one of the best starts of his career. No-hitting the Reds through 8 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts. With the adrenaline simmered down, reality will set in. Cobb threw a career-high 131 pitches — the most he’d thrown was 117, twice during the 2013 season as a 25 year old.
In the light of day, reality will set in. Throwing 131 pitches will take its toll on any pitcher. Manager Gabe Kapler noted Cobb is as durable as they come.
“He throws in the ‘pen as much as anybody,” he said. “He throws a ton of pitches in the ‘pen, so he’s very built up.”
The Giants will consider pushing Cobb’s next start a day to give him a little extra rest depending on how he recovers.
“I felt dead,” he said after the game. “Obviously the crowd noise and they’re playing your walk-out (song) and the fans are on their feet. You have all sorts of adrenaline from the fans cheering. Once in a lifetime opportunity to be in that position so I’ll definitely feel it tomorrow.”
More than anything, Cobb hopes the momentum he and Harrison sparked within the rotation can carry them through a critical point in the schedule. The calendar is soon turning to September and the Giants are still competing with at least five other teams for a wild card spot.
“Having a guy like (Harrison) inserted into the rotation gives the whole team life and energy and all of us in the rotation somebody to encourage and compete with,” Cobb said. “That’s the beautiful thing about a group of starters is you feed off each other and there’s a friendly competition and insight you get from each other from the night before talking about the lineup.”
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