NEW YORK — The Giants’ rotation took a blow following their 5-4 walk-off loss to the Mets in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Citi Field.
Right-hander Alex Cobb was placed on the 10-day injured list after suffering a right adductor strain in the fifth inning of his second start of the season. Reliever Yunior Marte was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to replace Cobb on the roster, with utility man Luke Williams serving as the 29th man for Game 2 of the doubleheader.
The injury is an unfortunate setback for Cobb, who struck out 10 over five innings in his Giants debut against the Padres last week, then appeared to be rolling early in his start against the Mets. He took a 4-1 lead into the fifth, but things took a turn for the worse when he tweaked his groin while running to cover first base on a potential double-play ball from Travis Jankowski. The Giants thought they had turned two on the play, but the speedy Jankowski was subsequently ruled safe at first base following a replay review.
“I think during the run over to first, trying to cover for the double play, possibly something happened then,” Cobb said. “And then as that review was going on, I started noticing it just like tightening up. I didn’t think much of it. It was just like, ‘Maybe I got fatigued over there.’ I did a lot of running today, it seemed like. I didn’t feel one particular run or move that had this pull feel or like anything tore or anything like that.”
James McCann and Jeff McNeil followed with back-to-back doubles, cutting the Giants’ lead to 4-3 and knocking Cobb from the game. Cobb was spotted shaking his right leg before walking off the field with head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner after throwing 60 pitches. The 34-year-old veteran was replaced by Dominic Leone, who surrendered an RBI double to Francisco Lindor that tied the score at 4.
Cobb, who joined San Francisco on a two-year, $20 million deal over the offseason, was charged with four runs (three earned) on six hits over 4 1/3 innings, becoming the first Giants starter to allow more than two runs in a start this year.
“Personally, it stinks, just because I’ve dealt with stuff all the time in my career,” Cobb said. “You finally felt like you’re in a good place where physically the ball is coming out well. You do everything you can to stay strong throughout a full season. And then from a team standpoint, the starters were rolling. All the pitchers were rolling. Team is rolling. It’s fun to be a part of. We’re battling this terrible [four-city] road trip together. Things were going smoothly for four innings, and then it just kind of completely took a turn on us in the fifth. It’s disappointing.”
Cobb had not yet begun to receive treatment following Game 1, but he felt the injury isn’t “too bad” and sounded optimistic that he wouldn’t require a lengthy stint on the IL. The Giants are already without third baseman Evan Longoria (right index finger surgery), second baseman Tommy La Stella (left Achilles surgery) and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. (left knee inflammation), though they spent most of the offseason stockpiling pitching depth to ensure they could withstand injuries to their rotation. Sam Long, Tyler Beede, Jakob Junis and pitching prospect Sean Hjelle would be candidates to fill in for Cobb in the interim.
“I think as an organization, they do a lot of things right, and depth is right up there at the top of the list,” Cobb said. “I wouldn’t expect it to hurt us too much. We’ve already had some key guys go down, and you wouldn’t even know. That’s what championship clubs do. This front office is far beyond any other place that I’ve seen in doing that, so we’re going to need everybody in the organization to accomplish what we want to accomplish this year.”