Every MLB player dreams of days like Alex Cobb had yesterday, as he single-handedly tore apart St Louis Cardinals with both a perfect pitching display and some rugged hitting in Tampa Bay Ray’s 3-0 victory.
Cobb threw seven shutout innings along with 10 strikeouts to keep the Cardinals fans quiet and chipped in with the bat which proved vital as the Rays offence was a subdued by opposition pitcher Lance Lynn.
Cobb, 26, saw Yunel Escobar home in the second inning with a double driven down the right field line. The hit was his first MLB hit and RBI in his eighth at-bat in the Majors, according to MLB.com.
The bookkeepers had another reason to celebrate the pitcher's hit – Alex became the first Cobb hit record in the MLB since September 3, 1928 by a certain Ty Cobb.
Pitcher Cobb silenced more than 43,000 fans in Busch Stadium in St Louis as the team fell to their third defeat in a row while the Rays made it seven wins in a row, including 0-5 on the road since the return from the All-Star break.
However, it was not all celebrations for Cobb as he left St Louis with a bruised right elbow after being hit by Lynn’s 92mph fastball.
Cobb complained of shooting pains in his elbow and shoulder but after some brief treatment he was given a short warm-up before pitching after being given the green light.
The Rays will be relieved the gamble to put Cobb back on the mound paid off and speaking to MLB.com, Cobb said it was his best night of the season so far.
“Tonight’s the most comfortable I’ve felt on the mound, hands-down, since I’ve come back [from the injury],” Cobb said, who missed a chunk of the season earlier in the year with a left oblique strain.
Even though Cobb played out of his skin, there was only ever one run in the game during the period he was on the field.
The Rays were able to give themselves a bit of breathing space in the seventh inning with a single, error and a hit batter loaded the bases. Evan Longoria provided the sacrificial fly to get the second run of the night.
Brandon Guyer's single got Desmond Jennings home from third in the ninth inning and reliever Brad Boxberger and closer Jake McGee combined to take the remaining Cardinal outs to ensure victory.
The Rays (49-53) will hope to keep their winning record running as they play a three-game series against World Series Champions Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field over the weekend.
St Louis (54-57) travel to Wrigley Field to take on National League Central division bottom team Chicago Cubs.