February 2, 2023

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Webb's 'big misses' lead to abridged outing

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MIAMI — Logan Webb was cruising to start his day against the Marlins on Saturday. He held Miami hitless through those first three innings, and allowed just a single in the fourth before inducing a double play.  

Early on, catcher Joey Bart thought Webb had his pitches going well enough to throw into the seventh inning. But when Webb got into trouble in the fifth inning of San Francisco’s 5-4 loss at loanDepot park, manager Gabe Kapler went to the bullpen rather than let the starter try to work out of a two-on, two-out jam.

Kapler said postgame that he didn’t think Webb’s pitches were at their best. Webb agreed with that sentiment, though he also said he did not feel ready to exit the game. 

“Too many balls, not competitive strikes,” Webb said. “The balls were not very competitive. Big misses. Stuff like that. Maybe I’ll look back tomorrow, see if it was a mechanical thing, but I felt pretty good. … I don’t know how I went through three innings with no hits.”

Prior to being pulled, Webb had allowed a trio of hits, including an RBI double by Jesús Sánchez, to start the fifth inning. A second run scored on a wide throw from Bart trying to catch Jon Berti stealing second. The error cut the Giants’ lead to two runs after they had pulled ahead 4-0 with a solo homer from Jason Vosler in the third and a bases-clearing double from Donovan Walton in the fourth.

After that, Webb got a strikeout, then a groundout, before walking Jazz Chisholm Jr. on four balls. Then, he got pulled.

“We’re looking right there for him to have a really competitive at-bat with Chisholm to get an opportunity to go out and take down [Garrett] Cooper as well,” Kapler said. “And as you saw, it was difficult for [Webb] to get near the strike zone. [And] it’s Chisholm, which put us in a bit of a bind, because we weren’t sure if [Webb was] going to be able to continue to attack the strike zone. And we felt like we had really good options in the bullpen and John Brebbia, who was coming off an excellent outing from yesterday. And so obviously, we weren’t able to get the job done.”

In all, Webb allowed four runs on four hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings, though he recorded six strikeouts. It was Webb’s shortest start since April 19, when he went 3 2/3 innings vs. the Mets.

Brebbia was the first of four bullpen arms the Giants called upon. The right-hander had served as an opener on Friday night, tossing a scoreless first inning while allowing one hit — a single to Garrett Cooper. And it was Cooper who hit a two-run single off Brebbia in the fifth inning on Saturday to tie the game at 4.

When asked about choosing to bring in Brebbia against the same batter who squared up against him the previous night, Kapler asked, “How many runs did he give up yesterday?”

A fair question, though the prior night Cooper had not been batting with runners on second and third. Nonetheless, Brebbia got out of the inning on Saturday without allowing the Marlins to take the lead, and the Giants went to Camilo Doval for the sixth inning. Doval, who has been solid out of the bullpen this season, threw a scoreless, hitless bottom of the sixth.

Meanwhile, the Marlins didn’t go to their bullpen until the eighth inning, even after Pablo López allowed four runs over his first three innings, and Miami manager Don Mattingly thought Webb was straight-up “nasty” on the mound.

“His stuff to me, it’s electric,” Mattingly said. “He’s got a quick arm and breaking ball. It’s just a different look, too. His stuff is dirty. We just kind of hung in there and scrapped and got some guys on. Berti’s hit kind of extends the [fifth] inning. … Just getting the thing going and giving yourself a chance, and then guys get a chance to get a big hit.”

The Giants’ combination of Doval, lefty Jake McGee and righty submariner Tyler Rogers kept the Marlins from scoring in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before Rogers returned to the mound for the ninth. The Marlins then quickly got two men on base via a leadoff single and a hit-by-pitch, with both advancing on a balk by Rogers, before Sánchez hit a walk-off sacrifice fly.

“The last few games, the [guys in the bullpen] have thrown the ball great,” Rogers said. “Yesterday was a ‘bullpen day’ and that was a win, and everybody out of the bullpen today pitched really well. And it kind of stinks that it ended the way it did.”

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