Rodón approaching prestigious Giants record shared by Lincecum


On his first day in orange and black, Carlos Rodón struck the right tone. He had worn No. 55 throughout his first seven seasons in the big leagues, but when he came over from Chicago to San Francisco, Rodón immediately chose No. 16

"Oh I wasn't wearing that number," Rodon said in March. "That was easy to turn down. I know whose number that is."

Rodón talked that day of his respect for Tim Lincecum, and as he nears the final month of his first season with the Giants, he continues to do a heck of a Lincecum impersonation. Rodón struck out 10 over seven innings Tuesday, leading the Giants to a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. The double-digit strikeout performance was his fourth in six starts, and that run is getting him into rarified air. 

Rodón now has eight double-digit strikeout games, the most by a Giant since Lincecum also did it eight times in 2008 and 2009. With one more double-digit strikeout game, Rodón will tie a franchise record shared by Lincecum and Jason Schmidt (2004). 

Rodón leaned on his usual fastball-slider combo to get 23 swinging strikes, including 17 on his four-seamer. He didn't allow a run until the seventh, when the Tigers got a pair of bloops, but he got out of that jam with a double play and his 10th strikeout. 

"He's a beast," said catcher Austin Wynns, who has caught some of Rodón's best starts. "He goes about his business every day. He's professional, he has a good routine, and when we cross those lines we're on the same page."

The latest huge performance was needed on a night when the Giants managed just five hits and got most of the offense on a two-run shot from Evan Longoria. The lineup has struggled to get on the same page, but the Giants continue to follow the lead of their rotation. Rodón has been a co-ace since he signed a two-year deal in March and he seems to be getting stronger as he goes. 

With 22 strikeouts in his last two starts, Rodón has tied New York's Gerrit Cole for the MLB lead. He is two ahead of reigning Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes atop the National League leaderboard. 

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The Giants haven't had a National League or MLB leader in strikeouts since Lincecum, who led the league three years in a row, becoming the first Giant to go back-to-back since Christy Mathewson more than 100 years earlier. 

Rodón has given the Giants that kind of overpowering arm atop their rotation, but he mostly has shied away from big picture talk or recapping his achievements. After Tuesday's game, Rodón again put the focus on what the performance meant for a team that's trying desperately to make up ground in the postseason race. The Giants kept pace with the Philadelphia Phillies, who won on a walk-off. The Padres were playing later Tuesday night. 

"There's another baseball game tomorrow," Rodón told reporters in Detroit. "It's going to be one of those things where it's a day-to-day thing. Hopefully, we look up at the end and we've made the playoffs."

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