The San Francisco Giants’ starter for tonight’s Game 5, Logan Webb, tossed 7 2⁄3 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 4-0 win in Game 1 of the NL West clubs’ NLDS matchup, giving up five hits and striking out 10 batters, and he is starting again tonight.
So what did the Dodgers learn about the right-hander in that game? Or in the other six starts he’s made against LA in his career that they can apply to tonight’s game?
“I think that you look at what Webb’s done to us and obviously he’s thrown the baseball really well against us and I think it just goes back to that big part of the field mindset,” Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts said on the off-day yesterday.
“He’s got really good stuff. The ball has a lot of action. And when he’s right — he has really good command, and even when he’s not, the ball kind of moves a lot.
“So I think it’s just the idea of staying short, use of the big part of the field, because most guys really, he doesn’t give up a whole lot of slugs, so to kind of play for the slug is just a bad approach.”
Noting that a few of Webb’s teammates with the Giants described him as something of a lovable goofball, San Francisco’s skipper said that when it’s time to go, the 24-year-old is focused and determined.
“You do see a tiny bit more intensity and perhaps a little bit more seriousness on his start day, but you can still talk to him,” Kapler explained.
“So I’ve been around some pretty good high-quality Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers who on their start days it’s just really difficult to have a conversation with them.
“And like there are some pitchers who everybody in the clubhouse knows you just stay away from them on the days that they start. That’s not Logan Webb. It’s actually none of our starters. You can have conversations with Logan Webb in game and I think he can receive the information and process the information. You can have conversations with Logan Webb on the mound. I think he can process and apply information.
“And I also think he is who he is on days that he starts — maybe with a slightly more serious vibe, but for the most part, man, he’s just like, yeah, he’s that great personality even on the days that he starts.”
Before tonight’s game, the Dodgers threw the Giants something of a curve, naming Corey Knebel as their “opener” instead of expected starter Julio Urías, who is available to pitch.
Will the strategery work in the Dodgers’ favor? Will the Giants jump on the opener and make LA regret the decision? Who’s going to move on to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS?