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SF Giants push back Alex Cobb’s next start

SF Giants push back Alex Cobb’s next start

SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Cobb won’t pitch in his scheduled turn through the rotation this weekend, a concerning development for one of the Giants’ only three starting pitchers and for a team on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with 22 games remaining.

Despite the three-game set against the Rockies looming as a must-win to maintain their fading postseason hopes, the Giants’ No. 2 starter isn’t scheduled to take the ball. Kyle Harrison will make his second start in front of the home fans on Friday, Logan Webb will start Saturday, and the club is listing Sunday’s starter as TBA.

Cobb last pitched Sunday in San Diego, when he lasted only three innings while allowing four runs on two homers in a loss to the Padres. The clunker came five days after throwing a career-high 131 pitches in a complete game, coming one out shy of a no-hitter.

Afterward, while Cobb said he wanted the ball on regular rest, he acknowledged it was “very fair to second guess” the decision by manager Gabe Kapler to keep him and Harrison on turn after pushing their pitch counts higher than any point this season in their previous starts. Harrison was tagged by the Padres for six runs on four homers.

“We’re always working with our pitchers to make sure they feel good about it, that we all feel good about it and that it’s the right decision for the group,” Kapler said. “So no (there was no regret). … I didn’t see the impact.”

It was also revealed that Cobb had been pitching with an impingement in his left hip since the middle of June.

“The hip’s been bugging me a little,” Cobb said. “Been getting a little extra care, working on it and trying to find out what’s going on.”

The left hip is the one he lands on in his delivery, and he said “every once in a while I’ll get a little bit of a zinger in there.” That said, he didn’t use it as an excuse for his poor outing in San Diego. After all, he nearly made history in his last time on the mound, dealing with the same issue.

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“It was prevalent in that outing,” Cobb said of the near-no-no. “For the most part, it’s just something that you know going into the outing you’re going to feel. You just try to compensate for it a little bit.”

It has been something he’s been dealing with for so long that it took him a moment to recall when the issue first cropped up. It was in his start against the Rockies at Coors Field, all the way back on June 8, he said. He took a 2.71 ERA into that outing but has pitched to a 4.70 mark in 14 starts since.

With 144⅓ innings in 26 starts this season, Cobb will likely eclipse his total from last season (149⅔) in his next start. That was his highest total since 2018, when he threw 152⅓ for the Rays, and he has never exceeded 180 in a season.

“Everybody’s got something going on in September that’s a little bit difficult to deal with,” he said. “I feel like that’s part of being a big leaguer: being at your best when you’re not at 100%.”