Logan Webb didn’t look like a pitcher who was only starting because of injuries on Sunday.
Inserted into the San Francisco Giants’ rotation at the start of the year while Alex Wood was battling a back injury, then re-inserted when Johnny Cueto injured his lat, Webb turned in the best game of his career, striking out eight over seven scoreless innings and crushing a two-run triple as the Giants took three out of four games from the Miami Marlins, winning the series finale 4-3.
“It was definitely the best outcomes of the season for Logan,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Surprisingly, I still think there’s another gear. There were some moments where he fell behind in counts, and there were some misses to the arm side and the glove side that were substantial. I still think there’s an even better version of Logan.”
Webb hit two batters and walked three but kept Miami (9-12) off the board by inducing three double plays, including one off the bat of Chad Wallach to end the top of the seventh after two men had reached.
His triple, which came on a 2-1 count against Paul Campbell in the bottom of the second inning, was hit at a blistering 109 miles per hour and gave the Giants a 3-0 lead. Initially, Webb was squared around to bunt, but when a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, he was given the freedom to swing away.
“I’m not expecting that when I go up there,” Webb said. “I was definitely a little tired when I got to third.”
Fortunately for Webb, he was able to rest up with a lengthy break between innings as a steady rain that fell during the first few innings forced the grounds crew to repeatedly tend to the dirt, giving him extra time to settle in before returning to the mound. He also grounded into a fielder’s choice on a sharply-hit ball in the fourth and hit a John Curtiss offering for a deep flyout in the sixth that nearly made it to the warning track.
“There was some joking on the bench that when we took him out of the game, we were taking the best bat out of the lineup,” Kapler said. “He’s certainly under consideration (to pinch-hit) at this point.”
With Wilmer Flores (illness) and Mike Yastrzemski (oblique) added to a mounting list of injuries with players unable to get on the field but not banged up enough to go on the injured list, Webb’s bat could be a necessity in the coming days.
Flores’ departure after the second inning opened the door for Jason Vosler, playing in his second Major League game after 630 career games in the minors. He hit one to the track against Campbell in the third but was robbed of extra bases by an outstretched Adam Duvall. His luck evened out in the fifth as his fly ball to shallow right landed out of Garrett Cooper’s reach for his first career hit, and he quickly followed that up with a stolen base, one of three San Francisco (14-8) tallied on the day.
While none of those stolen bases yielded any runs, the Giants did find success with small-ball early on. Campbell relieved opener Ross Detwiler to start the second inning and let the first two men reach, walking Flores and allowing a single to Tommy La Stella. After Curt Casali struck out, Mauricio Dubon dropped a safety squeeze that brought Flores home, and the Honduran utility man was able to turn the bunt into a single. The hosts added another methodical run in the fifth off lefty Richard Bleier as Yastrzemski led off the inning with an opposite-field double, advanced to third on a Darin Ruf groundout and scored on a Brandon Belt sac fly.
Casali’s bid to catch a sixth consecutive shutout, a feat last accomplished in 1903, was thwarted in the eighth inning when Jesus Aguilar clubbed his third homer of the series, a two-run shot off Matt Wisler. It was the second home run allowed by Wisler in 11 appearances, and it raised his ERA to 10.13.
“I’m still proud of it,” Casali said of the streak. “It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s nice to show up on the scoreboard. I’d be lying if I said I’m glad it’s over, though.”
Tyler Rogers closed the game out with a white-knuckle save, allowing leadoff man Corey Dickerson to reach on an infield hit to bring the tying run to the plate. He then froze Duvall on a curveball but Jon Berti beat out a potential game-ending double play, and pinch-hitter Sandy Leon followed with a single up the middle. Lewis Brinson then lined an 0-2 pitch over a leaping La Stella to make it a one-run game and advance the tying run to second, but rookie Jazz Chisholm Jr. swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded out harmlessly to second, finishing his day 0-for-5 and allowing the Giants to escape with a season series victory. It’s their first season series victory over Miami since 2016, and the first four-game series win at home over the Marlins since 2004, back when the stadium was known as SBC Park.