Webb left stunned Giants roster flat in fourth straight loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
WASHINGTON DC — When he threw his first career shutout two weeks ago, Logan Webb was so effective that the Giants handshake line came less than two hours after his first pitch of the game. Saturday night felt like the first three batters from the bottom of the second inning had been at the plate almost as long.
After a scoreless first, Webb threw 29 pitches to Joey Meneses, Keibert Ruiz and Dominic Smith to start the second inning and 12 of them were fouled. All three batters reached, putting Webb’s back against the wall and forcing him to chase quick outs. He couldn’t get them either, and he ended up having the shortest start of his career.
Webb lasted just 1 1/3 innings and was charged with six earned runs. The roster was no better as the Giants lost 10-1 to the bottom-placed Washington Nationals, losing their fourth in a row.
Programming woes are nothing new, at least this month. Webb’s tough night came as a surprise, however, as July had been one of his best months in the majors. Webb allowed two runs on his start before the shutout and two on his first start of the second period. Saturday’s six runs were a season high.
What happened? Webb pointed to Meneses, Ruiz and Smith.
“I threw 29 three-pitch pitches. I’ve never had that before,” he said. “(The Nationals) don’t really swing and miss often. They did a good job and got a lot of three-hitter in a row. They kinda caught me after that. It was just one of those days where the balls find holes and then there’s damage, the triple and a home run. Yeah, it was just a shitty day.”
Webb can usually get out of jams with a ground ball, but that night they found some holes, and CJ Abrams ended his start with a two-point blast on the right that made it 6-0. Even before this swing, the Giants were ready to make a change. Their ace ended up throwing 41 pitches in one inning on a sweltering night in the nation’s capital.
“You start to worry about his overall workload,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “You start to realize he can’t go much further and he’s going to have to start getting quick takeouts. I think Logan may have felt the pressure of that too. He wasn’t making his best throws at that point.”
Webb said the night was frustrating, and that describes most of the spin on this trip. Alex Wood took a step back on Friday and the Giants will go with a game opener – Scott Alexander – on Sunday instead of starting Anthony DeSclafani. One of their best depth options — Sean Manaea — came in after Webb on Saturday and gave up four quick runs, though he at least kept the bullpen from having to carry a heavy load.
The problem for the Giants right now is that the roster is in an even bigger rut. They had just five hits and scored a run for the third time in the last 10 games. In July, the Giants average just 3.5 carries per game and rank 29th in the league in OPS. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates have been worse.
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Kapler often says he likes the approach even when the results aren’t there. He admitted that the last two days hadn’t even reached that standard.
“There’s no quick fix here,” he said. “It’s just a back-to-work mentality, cringing at every hitter, looking for pitches to drive. It’s not the same for every hitter. Every hitter has their own independent approach, but from a team perspective, that’s always going to be the look. Especially with tomorrow’s game, it’s important that we move on quickly and clean up tonight. It was a bad game for us.
“It’s been a number of games and to one degree or another we haven’t been a very explosive or powerful offense for quite some time. But looking at the names on this page, I know we are this explosive and powerful attack.
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