All season, Carlos Rodon has been the best starting pitcher for the SF Giants and one of the most dominant in the Major Leagues. He has proven that the Giants' braintrust led by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made the right choice in signing him to a two-year, $44 million contract before the season.
There was an argument for him to be dealt for prospects at the early-August trade deadline with the Giants spiraling out of a playoff spot, but because he wasn't the Orange and Black faithful will get to enjoy a few more starts from the left hander before he likely declines the player option in his contract to look for a bigger payday on the open market.
With Rodon still in a Giants uniform, he has been able to continue to build on his season and make a mark on the franchise's record book. His last time out, in a Giants win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Rodon passed the 200-strikeout threshold for the season for the first time in his career.
Friday afternoon, in San Francisco's series opener at the Chicago Cubs, Rodon broke a tie with Tim Lincecum and Jason Schmidt for the franchise record in double-digit strikeout games during a season, with 10 - though the Giants still lost the game.
Rodon recorded his 10th whiff of the day to wrap up a perfect inning in the fifth. He faltered only once, allowing a hit to start the second before a breaking ball was lashed for a two-run shot.
The home run wasn't the only Chicago scoring moment. Right after Rodon was pulled in the sixth, his replacement - Yunior Marte - issued a walk before another two-run home run.
SF Giants get on the board in the eighth
The Giants, who lost their fifth straight game after a brief four-game winning streak, mustered only one hit against former Giant Drew Smyly in seven innings. He exited after an error to open the top of the eighth allowed recent callup Austin Dean. San Francisco batters worked a pair of walks to load the bases with two out, and Evan Longoria's automatic double scored his team's only runs of the game.