Alex Cobb falls short, but the Giants outpace the Reds

Then, after coming very close to throwing a no-hitter with his family in the stands ready for it to happen, Alex Cobb took a moment to thank quarterback Austin Slater for the sensational diving catch that kept the show going.

Cobb did the same to Giants manager Gabe Kapler, offering some gratitude for giving him the opportunity. Kapler held on to Cobb even when his number of shots was higher than ever.

Cobb came within one walk of a no-hitter before Spencer Steer doubled with two outs in the ninth inning of San Francisco’s 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, capping a stunning complete game. His 131 pitches were the most of his career and the most by any player in the major leagues this season, and 83 of them were for strikeouts.

“It’s still surreal now,” Cobb said. “In that moment, I was just focusing on the delivery, the game plan and the execution of the shows, and then it started to get real. I had some great thoughts about having my family here and thanking them. It was special.” certainly.”

Cobb nearly made the team’s fifth major league goal of the year, dazzling with a finger-tip fastball to shut out Cincinnati before Steer’s double provided the Reds’ only run.

Fans cheered the 35-year-old right-hander after the strike with chants of “Alex Cobb!” Once the final was scored, Cobb embraced his teammates and coaches and acknowledged the crowd.

Slater made the defensive play for the game when he chased down a shallow fly ball by Will Benson with an improbable catch at left center to finish in the eighth—and Cobb raised his arms in celebration.

Even Kapler thought it would work.

Cobb just missed throwing his first San Francisco hit since Chris Heston on June 9, 2015, at the New York Mets.

After getting Noelvi Marte’s first off to start the ninth inning, Cobb (7-5) issued a one-out walk to Nick Senzel before another flied to right by TJ Friedl. Then Steer came up with a hit in the opposite field.

“Still fun,” Cobb said, as the game ball was tucked away safely in his corner locker along with other memorabilia such as the hit he hit in this year’s All-Star Game — his first. “I wasn’t angry or sad, just, well, let’s get this over with.”

A run-off double scored, and Cobb threw the third batter against rookie Eli De La Cruz for his eighth hit, sixth complete game of his career and second of the year.

Leaving him in the game, Kapler did not immediately call for any warm-ups, and Cobb was confident he still had the best of him.

“The right thing to do is to let the man who is going this way continue to go,” Kabler said.

Senzel scored first with a single in the third inning on a hopper double that was intercepted on a backhand by third baseman Casey Schmitt. The rookie’s throw from the foul zone was high and JD Davis pulled a jumper off the first base bag.

Official scorer Chris Toms originally called the play a success but changed it to a foul several minutes later.

Did Cobb notice that the stroke initially rose on the scoreboard and later disappeared?

He said, “Oh yeah.” “I was thinking of trying to throw a one-hitter and then challenge the pitch and get a one-hitter in about a week.”

Fans in the crowd of 26,078 jumped and fell when Benson stepped in to tackle Cobb with a two-out lead in the eighth. After leading 0-2, Cobb threw two straight balls to make it 2-2 when Benson hit a shallow fly to left center for Cobb’s fourth straight tiebreaker. Slater sprinted nearly 20 feet for a diving goal, which the Reds promptly challenged.

The play went to re-review, and when crew chief Bill Miller announced moments later, “Calling the pitch,” the crowd cheered.

“With everything on the line, what an amazing play,” Kapler said.

Patrick Bailey hit a two-run homer to help Cobb win for the first time in nine starts since July 5.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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