Logan Webb’s Breakout Performance vs. Marlins

Logan Webb flashed some of what he was able to do in Spring Training to San Francisco Giants fans in yesterday afternoon’s game vs. the Miami Marlins. Webb pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight batters, all without allowing a run. In his previous four appearances this year, Logan Webb had accumulated a 5.87 ERA. Webb’s ERA was the highest among Giants starters. So, when pitcher Alex Wood had fully recovered from his injuries, Webb was moved into the bullpen. This did not last long because shortly after being moved to the bullpen, starter Johnny Cueto was placed on the 10-day IL with a Grade-One lat strain. Logan Webb had made one appearance from the bullpen before being thrust back into the starting rotation.

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

The best attribute for Logan Webb is his “stuff.” His pitches have so much movement that it seems as if  Webb couldn’t throw a ball straight, even if he wanted to. This is great for inducing swing and misses. However, this is not great for his catchers, who are always in for a tough day of receiving behind the plate when Webb is on the mound. Because, what does Logan Webb struggle with? Command.

Curt Casali is a great receiver of the baseball, proving this by catching five consecutive complete-game shutouts. Casali handled Webb beautifully in this game, blocking changeups in the dirt and diving in front of sliders as they ran away from right-handed hitters. The pair worked together masterfully, maneuvering through the Marlins lineup. Not only was Casali great behind the plate, but the team’s defense was a major bright spot. Although Webb only allowed three hits, he did surrender three free passes as well. All told, Logan Webb had traffic on the basepaths in every inning except the 6th. Webb was able to make all the right pitches when it mattered the most. He leaned on his diving sinker and wipeout changeup to induce three double-plays. Webb did his job in generating ground balls, and his defense rewarded him for it.

Logan Webb Does It All

There are a lot of opinions surrounding the topic of a universal DH. Some hate the idea and love the chess match of managers maneuvering through lineups– having to decide when to pull the pitcher in favor of a pinch hitter. Conversely, some welcome the thought–wondering why someone would want to see a pitcher hit. The game should be more exciting, right? Add another bat to the lineup and create more action. Both of these arguments are valid. It is fair to want to hold on to the pureness of National League baseball just like it is fair to want more action in the game.

Now, although it’s hard for fans to get excited when a pitcher steps into the box, it’s hard to dispute the level of excitement a pitcher getting a hit ensues. And ensuing excitement is exactly what Logan Webb did in the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Logan Webb stepped to the plate after Mauricio Dubon’s bunt-single brought in Wilmer Flores to score the game’s first run. Webb turned on a fastball sending it into right-center field. Hustling the whole way, Webb was able to leg out a two-RBI triple. Unable to contain his excitement Webb pointed over to his dugout, showcasing a smile from ear to ear. Logan Webb’s triple was the first by a Giants pitcher since Tim Lincecum hit one back in 2013. So, not only did Logan Webb pitch the best game of his young career, matching his career-high in strikeouts and exceeding his career-high in pitches thrown. He also removed the title held by the Giants as the only NL team without a pitcher to record a hit. That’s a pretty darn good day for the young right-hander.

Logan Webb and Sustainability of His Recent Success

A good way to describe Logan Webb in his start vs. the Marins is effectively wild. And, although this worked yesterday, it’s not like fans were showcased a brand new Logan Webb. Webb needs to do a better job of throwing competitive pitches consistently. He has issued ten walks in 22 1/3 innings. As Webb is sent out to face elite-level offenses, his lack of command will continue to be exposed.

It was a great day for Logan Webb, both on the mound and at the plate. However, look for Webb to slide back into the bullpen as Cueto should soon return to the starting rotation. Webb needs to focus on his command, and if he can dial up success in this area, he has the potential to be a very good rotational piece in the future.

 

 

“Main Photo”
Embed from Getty Images

 

Players Mentioned:

Alex Wood, Johnny Cueto, Curt Casali, Mauricio Dubon, Wilmer Flores, Tim Lincecum,    

 


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