May 29, 2023

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Webb's historic streak ends on 'weird, long day'

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NEW YORK — It had been nearly a year since Logan Webb was last saddled with a loss, but his franchise-record winning streak came to an end as the Giants dropped both ends of their doubleheader against the Mets on a chilly Tuesday at Citi Field.

After being handed a 5-4 walk-off loss in Game 1, the Giants were hoping to receive a quality start from Webb, but he couldn’t get out of the fourth inning in a 3-1 Game 2 defeat. The 25-year-old emerging ace was removed after giving up three runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings, his shortest start since July 9, 2021.

The outing snapped Webb’s streak of 24 starts without a losing decision, a remarkable run that dated back to May 11, 2021, and included his two brilliant starts in the postseason last fall. The Giants went 21-3 over that span after Webb broke the franchise mark previously held by Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell, who went 22 starts without taking a loss from July 13, 1936, through May 31, 1937.

“It was just a weird, long day, to be honest with you,” Webb said.

The Giants’ offense, meanwhile, mustered only two hits in the nightcap, with three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer opening his outing with five-plus hitless innings before Darin Ruf broke through with an RBI single with two outs in the sixth. Mike Yastrzemski nearly produced a game-tying home run off Drew Smith in the eighth, but his 359-foot drive died at the warning track in right field and landed harmlessly in the glove of Starling Marte.

Webb, who entered Tuesday with a 1.29 ERA over his first two starts of the season, didn’t want to make excuses for his uncharacteristically rough night, but manager Gabe Kapler noted that Webb seemed to have trouble getting a feel for the baseball due to the frigid 45-degree temperatures. Webb had to labor for much of the night, prompting Kapler to lift him after he had thrown only 75 pitches.

“I don’t think he had his best command,” Kapler said. “And also, the baseball didn’t feel particularly comfortable in his hand tonight. Logan, when he’s attacking the strike zone, throwing a lot of strikes, having a good feel for the baseball, having a good feel for his delivery, is a dominant force. Tonight he didn’t have those things. Obviously, it was a challenging night for him.”

Added Webb: “No excuses, but it was cold out there. I was trying to rub up the ball as much as I could, but some of them seemed to be pearls.”

“We’ll bounce back,” Webb said. “We’ll be all right. It’s kind of what we do. We’ll make it through.”

Although he was disappointed to see his winning streak end, Webb was able to appreciate the accomplishment and reflect on how much he’s grown over the last year. After posting a 5.36 ERA over his first two seasons with the Giants, Webb developed into a bona fide ace in 2021, when he logged a 2.40 ERA over his final 20 regular-season starts.

“It’s cool to say I was able to do that,” he said. “But there’s been a couple of games where the team saved me, as well. Coming out losing and they ended up either tying it or coming back to win. So there’s a lot of stuff that goes into that, but it’s definitely a cool stat.”

Kapler is confident that Webb will continue to be the pitcher he was during his historic streak and will be able to swiftly rebound from Tuesday’s outing.

“If you reflect back on who this young pitcher has been since May of last year, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Kapler said. “But now this is not just a run. That’s who he is, and we expect that performance from him going forward.”

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