With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”
The San Francisco Giants have five pitchers in their starting rotation, which isn’t exactly surprising, since that’s rather standard.
If I were to ask a flock (the scientific term) of Giants fans, “who would make you the happiest if they pitched really well?” I’d probably get five different answers.
Maybe you want Johnny Cueto to pitch well, because he’s entertaining as hell. Maybe you want Jeff Samardzija to pitch well, so that the Giants have a chance of getting off that contract. Maybe you want Drew Smyly or Kevin Gausman to pitch well, so that you can hope for Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris to recreate the Drew Pomeranz-for-Mauricio-Dubón trade.
Or maybe you want Logan Webb to pitch well, because he’s the only person in the rotation that might actually be on the next good Giants team, and if he can develop into a quality starting pitcher, that’s a very valuable thing.
Hey, that last option sounds great, doesn’t it (full disclosure: I’d still choose Cueto. Give me the endorphin hit of short-term fun pitchers).
Anyway, long story short, Webb was fantastic on Saturday in Cleveland. It was the first time all year he’d been fantastic.
I don’t say that to bring attention to the fact that he hasn’t been fantastic. He’s 23, hasn’t made many starts this year (or in his career), and the stuff has been there even when he hasn’t been able to put it all together. It’s been an encouraging start to his career, even if the ERA does not reflect that.
Still, it’s great to see at all put together. And a lot of fun.
Webb retired the first ten batters he faced, before finally allowing a single. Two pitches later, he was out of the inning with a double play. When he came out for the start of the seventh inning, he’d allowed only two hits, one walk, and no runs. But after allowing a one-out double to Jose Ramirez, Webb was quickly pulled.
It’d be understandable if you were upset at Gabe Kapler for not allowing his youngster the leash to work through the double, when he’d been dynamic all day. But it was hard to argue with the move. Webb finally had a great start, and the last thing you wanted was for it to go sour at the end.
I’m sure he wishes he could have had the chance to finish the inning, but as it is he got to walk off the mound with only three hits allowed. And then Tyler Rogers came in, worked a groundball and a strikeout, and suddenly the inning was over, and Webb’s final line was clean: 6.1 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 0 runs.
His counterpart, Jefry Rodriguez, was a little less inspiring. The Giants put him in trouble in most innings, and Tyler Heineman even had a home run (the second of his career!), which is always a bad sign when that’s allowed.
There was also a two-run double by Brandon Crawford, two-hit days from Alex Dickerson and Evan Longoria, and a solo home run by Mike Yastrzemski.
And the Giants won 7-1, to even up the series, and move to 14-19 on the year.
A happy Saturday.