Alex Cobb

What we learned as Alex Cobb falls one out shy of no-hitter in Giants' win

NBC Universal, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- When a couple of reporters approached Alex Cobb and Logan Webb 30 minutes after Kyle Harrison's incredible home debut, Cobb smiled and held his hands up.

"It's my start day," he said, walking away before any questions could be asked.

Webb was happy to take over, and for a few minutes he stood at his locker and gushed about a performance from the rookie left-hander that would be hard for any Giant to top this season. A night later, Cobb did.

The 35-year-old took a no-hitter through 26 outs before Cincinnati Reds second baseman Spencer Steer lined a double just over Luis Matos' outstretched glove in right and into the gap. The first hit came on Cobb's 125th pitch of the night, which was eight more than his previous career-high.

Cobb ended up with a 131-pitch one-hitter in a 6-1 win and one of the best pitching performances in MLB this year. It was a significant win, as it gave the Giants the tiebreaker over the Reds, who are just behind them in the Wild Card race.

Cobb's attempt got that far because of tremendous stuff and two fascinating plays.

The biggest play of the night ended up being one that just about all of the 26,078 fans at Oracle Park ignored as it happened. Nick Senzel bounced a grounder down the third-base line in the third inning and Casey Schmitt's throw from the line sailed high, taking J.D. Davis off the bag. The play was initially ruled a hit, but an inning later, it was changed to an error on Schmitt.

That was the only scare for Cobb until the bottom of the eighth, when Will Benson hit a blooper into left-center. It looked like the bid was over, but Austin Slater made a diving catch, stopping the ball just as it was hitting the ground. The play was so close that the Reds challenged whether it had hit the grass first, but a lengthy review confirmed that Slater had made a tremendous catch -- and that Cobb still had his no-no intact.

Noelvi Marte flew out to right to open the ninth, but Cobb followed with a walk of Senzel. TJ Friedl nearly poked a double down the third base line, but then hit a soft fly ball to right. A few moments later, Steer finally put an end to the bid.

How He Got Close

Cobb was already at 82 pitches when he came out for the seventh, but he made quick work of the heart of the lineup. Steer swung over the top of a diving splitter for Cobb's sixth strikeout and Elly De La Cruz followed with a sharp grounder to second.

On his 99th pitch, Cobb beat Nick Martini to first for the final out of the seventh.

Robert Stephenson swung through a splitter to open the eighth, giving Cobb a 22nd out. After Christian Encarnacion-Strand tapped one out in front of the plate, Benson hit his flare to center that allowed Slater to have his Gregor Blanco moment.

Cobb's career-high in pitches was 117, way back in 2013 when he was a 25-year-old with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was at 113 as he took the mound to a standing ovation in the ninth.

The Exclusive Club

Cobb was an out away from becoming the first Giant to throw a no-hitter since Chris Heston in 2015 and the first to do it at Oracle Park since Tim Lincecum's second one in 2014. It would have been the 18th all-time for the Giants and their sixth since 2009. The only Giants to do it since they moved to Oracle Park are Heston, Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain (perfect game).

There have been four no-hitters in MLB this season, and Cobb was bidding to become the third to do it this month. He would have joined Philadelphia's Michael Lorenzen and Houston's Framber Valdez.

Patty Barrels

The Reds gave the Giants plenty of help early on, with the first run of the game scoring on a balk and the third scoring on a wild pitch. After a two-out error kept the third inning going, Patrick Bailey broke the game open in a much more aesthetically pleasing way.

Bailey jumped on an elevated cutter from Brandon Williamson and lined a homer into the visiting bullpen. Center fielder Friedl slammed into the wall and nearly made an incredible catch, but he came up about an inch short. The homer was Bailey's seventh of the year and continued an interesting trend.

Bailey was significantly better from the left side in the minors, but five of his seven big league homers have come from the right side. He entered the night with a .910 OPS against left-handed pitching and a .616 OPS against righties.

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast

Contact Us