Giants observations: Carlos Rodon dazzles despite walk-off loss to Braves

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What we learned as Rodón dazzles despite walk-off loss to Braves originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Carlos Rodón followed his eight-inning gem in Pittsburgh with a performance that might have been even better, striking out 10 and taking a no-hitter into the fifth against a tough Braves lineup.

He did not get a win.

The Giants got walked off for the second time in three nights, with the Braves scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to get a 4-3 win. Rodón was stuck with a no-decision on a night when he was brilliant.

The walk-off loss was the third of the trip for the Giants.

Rodón allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings but Jake McGee -- who had been perfect in nine appearances since coming off the IL -- coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth. McGee gave up three hits, including a solo blast to Dansby Swanson. Tyler Rogers took over with the winning run on first and allowed a walk-off single by former Giant Adam Duvall later in the inning.

The Giants led the whole night and took an early lead on a pair of homers. Rodón had the look of someone who might flirt with history, but the Braves finally got a hit when Orlando Arcia poked a broken-bat flare to center with one out in the fifth. They did more significant damage in the seventh, getting on the board when Matt Olson crushed an RBI double to left-center.

That put the tying run in scoring position with no outs, but Rodón got out of the jam with a groundout, lineout and strikeout, which was his 10th. He ended up allowing just three hits and the one earned run, lowering his ERA to 2.70.

A Whiff Of Something

Rodón struck out five the first time through the order, leaning heavily on a slider that has been a wipeout pitch for him in recent weeks. He ended up throwing 47 of them and getting 13 swinging strikes, which tied the season-high he had in his last start against the Pirates. Rodón also got 10 swinging strikes on his fastball, including one from Duvall on a 99 mph heater with the tying run on third in the seventh inning.

The 23 whiffs were a season-high for Rodón, who has now gotten past 20 three times this season. The 10 strikeouts were his most since May 9.

Just Get Him To October

The Cardinals roughed Rodón up in the middle of May in what ended up being one of the worst starts of his career, but other than that, he's been dominant against teams the Giants might see in the postseason.

Coming into Wednesday's game, Rodón had made four starts against the Dodgers, Mets and Padres, all of whom are currently in playoff position and allowed just four earned runs in 23 innings. The Braves currently are in a Wild Card spot and he kept the dominance going against a lineup full of powerful right-handed hitters, picking up his third double-digit strikeout game of the year and 15th of his career.

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There's a long way to go, not just for the Giants but for Rodón, but it certainly looks like he's capable of facing any type of lineup if the Giants can get him postseason starts.

Single Life

Aside from Austin Wynns' three-run shot on Tuesday, the Giants have pretty much only hit solo homers in recent weeks. Wynns snapped a streak of 11 consecutive solo homers, but Joc Pederson hit one later in the game and the Giants jumped ahead Wednesday with a pair of solo shots off Braves veteran right-hander Charlie Morton.

Mike Yastrzemski jumped on a first-pitch fastball as the second hitter of the game and lined his seventh of the year out to right field. Three innings later, Darin Ruf pulled the hands in and yanked a no-doubter down the left field line. That was his sixth of the year.

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