What we learned as Giants waste Rodón's 11 Ks, lose again originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
CHICAGO -- The Giants knew this stretch of the schedule would be hard on their bodies. They had no idea it would be this hard on the bats.
The lineup mustered just three hits in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Over the last two days, the Giants have played 27 innings of baseball and have just 10 total hits. The latest poor showing wasted the latest dominant start from Carlos Rodón.
Rodón and Drew Smyly, both of whom might end up being one-season Giants, combined for 19 strikeouts, but the Cubs did manage to get to Rodón just enough. Yan Gomes hit a two-run homer to get them on the board and Nico Hoerner added another two-run shot soon after Yunior Marte replaced Rodón.
After managing just seven hits in a doubleheader on Thursday in Milwaukee, the Giants didn't threaten until the eighth on Friday. They had just one hit to that point, but an error and two walks loaded the bases for Evan Longoria, who roped a two-run double into the left field corner. With the tying run on second, Thairo Estrada struck out.
Here are the takeaways from a fifth straight loss that drops the Giants to 65-73:
On Thursday morning, Rodón had a one-strikeout lead on Corbin Burnes atop the NL leaderboard, and he's still right in the chase despite Burnes striking out 14 Giants in the first game of a doubleheader.
Rodón nearly matched that in 5 1/3 innings, striking out 10 in the first five and then coming out for one more in the sixth. Only the pitch count -- 96 -- kept Rodón from continuing to mow them down. The double-digit strikeout game was Rodón's 10th of the season, which leads the Majors. It broke a franchise record previously held by Tim Lincecum and Jason Schmidt. Rodón moved in on the record quickly, with double-digits in four of his last five starts.
Just Absolutely Dominant
That mark wasn't the only one Rodón broke on Friday. He now has 212 strikeouts on the season, the most ever by a San Francisco Giant in his first season with the team. The previous record was held by Sam Jones, who struck out 209 batters in 1959 a year after the Giants moved West. Rodón won't be breaking the all-time franchise record, though. That one goes back to 1890, when Amos Rusie struck out 341. It was a different time, man.
There's another leaderboard to climb, though. Rodón now has the sixth-most strikeouts in a season by a Giants lefty. The record is 251 by Madison Bumgarner in 2016.
In the top of the sixth, Austin Wynns took a 93 mph pitch from Smyly off the front of his helmet. Trainer Dave Groeschner immediately ran out to check on him and Gabe Kapler wasn't far behind. After a couple of minutes, Wynns was taken back to the clubhouse as a precaution.
Joey Bart took over behind the plate, but the Giants may need a new backup for a few days. Bart recently came off the concussion IL himself and this is a staff that's extremely cautious -- rightfully so -- when a player gets hit in the head.