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Alex Cobb: Giants flaunt winning ingredients, mojo during latest hot streak

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Cobb: Giants flaunt winning mojo during recent hot streak originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Cobb spent last season in the other league, and he also spent it on the West Coast with the Los Angeles Angels, which meant he was watching his own team’s game just about every time the Giants were playing. Cobb noticed what they were doing, but he never had the chance to dive too deep.

“I just saw from afar that they were winning games, but I didn’t know how,” Cobb said Wednesday.

Cobb knew there was a lot of talent on the roster, but it wasn’t until he got to Scottsdale this spring that he figured out what the key ingredient was. He looked at lineups and saw talented hitters platooning and started to have conversations about why it was working. He found out what Giants fans learned last season. There’s a lot to be said for unselfishness in a clubhouse and dugout.

Cobb pointed out Wednesday that it’s really, really difficult to get 26 guys on the same page in Major League Baseball. It’s a sport built around individual stats, and guys are rewarded for them. But a 7-1 win over the The Colorado Rockies was just the latest example of how all of those individual contributions can lead to something bigger.

With Evan Longoria, LaMonte Wade Jr., Brandon Belt, Mike Yastrzemski and Joc Pederson all finally at full health, the Giants on Wednesday had Darin Ruf, Wilmer Flores and Austin Slater on their bench, along with Curt Casali, who had three hits Tuesday , and Mauricio Dubon, who might be the hottest hitter in the clubhouse.

They had 10 hits and cruised to their fifth straight win. It all seemed extremely familiar.

“It is kind of our identity right there,” Cobb said. “This whole series, really.”

Gabe Kapler was finally able to mix and match, to play his platoons and throw out his line changes. The result was 24 runs and 33 hits over three games.

“Listen, we all know what kind of team we are when we have everyone in there,” Belt said. “We can withstand a player or two going down, but we were missing like half our team. (Being at full strength) kind of puts everybody at ease. Everybody can fall into their roles.”

On Wednesday, that meant Wade and Belt at the top of the lineup, reaching base a combined seven times. That meant Yastrzemski, Thairo Estrada and Brandon Crawford hitting 5-6-7 a few days after they were some of Kapler’s best options to go 1-2-3. Estrada had two hits and scored twice. Crawford hit a two-run homer.

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This is the way the Giants won 107 games last season, and with five straight, they’re up to 19-12 and back to just two games out in the tight NL West. Cobb did his part, too, allowing one run while pitching into the sixth. Afterward, he said it’s been nice to see the 107-win mojo in person. He caught glimpses over the first three weeks before injuries and Covid decimated the roster, but now the Giants seem to really be humming.

“We all knew that was us, and know this is us, but it’s nice to have some confirmation that this is the way we’re supposed to be playing,” Cobb said.


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