SAN FRANCISCO -- In what initially appeared to be another frustrating low-scoring game for the Giants on Tuesday night at Oracle Park, their bats came alive at just the right time against the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks.
Alex Cobb faced off against Diamondbacks ace and NL Cy Young Award front-runner Zac Gallen, and did exactly what the Giants had hoped he would be able to do while under the weather, holding Arizona to three runs over six innings to go along with four strikeouts.
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In the first game following a quiet trade deadline in which San Francisco did not make many waves, manager Gabe Kapler and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi expressed confidence in the current state of the roster. Just seven hours later, it became clear why.
Here are three observations from the Giants' 4-3 win over the D-backs:
Fighting off a bug
Cobb was not at full strength when he toed the rubber Tuesday night. The Giants' righty is dealing with a stomach bug that caused his start to be pushed back one day after he initially was scheduled to pitch the series opener Monday. Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters before the game the team was doing everything they could to help Cobb prepare for his outing. Whatever they did appears to have worked.
San Francisco Giants
Cobb breezed through the first four innings on just 47 pitches, holding the D-backs scoreless before running into trouble in his final two frames. Cobb surrendered a solo home run to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the top of the fifth before Alek Thomas and Ketel Marte both went deep in the top of the sixth, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.
Right-hander Ryan Walker replaced Cobb in the seventh, and the Giants' bullpen -- featuring a rare save opportunity for Sean Manaea -- handled business the rest of the way.
Bucking a trend
The Giants' offense has had no issues putting runners on base, but knocking them in was proving to be quite the challenge.
Prior to Tuesday, San Francisco was 6-for-45 at the plate in its last five games with runners in scoring position. Fortunately for the Giants, they finally got the big hits they'd been searching for.
The offense didn't do much to help an ailing Cobb through the first five innings but finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth.
Blake Sabol singled with two outs in the inning and scored from first on a booming double to right-center off the bat of Luis Matos. Brandon Crawford followed with a two-run home run to straightaway center, tying the game at three runs apiece.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, LaMonte Wade Jr. blasted his 10th home run of the season and first since June 17, giving the Giants a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
The Giants' inactivity on the final day before the trade deadline sent a loud message to the 26 players in the clubhouse who have battling through injuries and inconsistencies all season long.
For the Giants to make a serious playoff push, they cannot rely solely on their core of exciting young rookies. The veterans have to step up and lead the way, which is exactly what they did Tuesday night.
Cobb's gutsy performance was commendable, and it's fair to assume the offense desperately wanted to pick him up after he surrendered a few loud home runs.
Crawford's game-tying homer in the sixth sent a jolt throughout an Oracle Park crowd that hasn't seen as many home runs in recent weeks and Wade's blast in the seventh was the cherry on top. Those two specifically will be very important to any offensive resurgence down the stretch.