Webb gets 15th win with help from Pederson, Crawford

September 28th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- A late September surge won’t be enough to rekindle the Giants’ playoff odds, but it has revived their chances of finishing the season at .500 or better. 

The Giants opened their final homestand of the 2022 campaign by defeating the Rockies, 5-2, on Tuesday night at Oracle Park to pick up their seventh win in their last eight games and pull within two games of .500 with eight games left to play.

and each homered to help San Francisco move to 15-10 in September, clinching the club’s first winning month since April. If the Giants go at least 5-3 the rest of the way, they’ll manage to avoid becoming only the seventh team in Major League history to finish below .500 following a 100-win season.

Here are three takeaways as the Giants improved to 76-78:

1. Webb shines in penultimate start
The Giants are planning to keep on an innings limit to help preserve his arm down the stretch, but the 25-year-old right-hander made the most of his abbreviated outing on Tuesday. Webb gave up one run on five hits over five innings, lowering his ERA to 2.90 over a career-high 192 1/3 innings this year.

The Rockies got on the board via Charlie Blackmon’s RBI single in the first inning and then threatened again in the second after Sean Bouchard and Ezequiel Tovar led off with back-to-back singles. Still, Webb managed to escape further damage by getting Garrett Hampson to ground into a forceout and then inducing an inning-ending double play from Ryan McMahon.

Webb settled in after that, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced before departing after throwing 78 pitches. He walked one and struck out seven, including five in a row to cap his penultimate outing of the 2022 campaign. Manager Gabe Kapler said Webb likely could have gone two more innings, but the Giants are sticking with the conservative route to ensure their young ace goes into the offseason healthy.

“Under the circumstances, we continue to think it makes the most sense to protect his future and think about '23, '24 and '25 for Logan,” Kapler said.   

While Webb is likely to fall short of his goal of logging 200 innings this year, he did reach another nice milestone on Tuesday, becoming the first Giants pitcher to reach 15 wins in a single season since Madison Bumgarner (15) and Johnny Cueto (18) in 2016.

“It’s pretty cool to be in the same category as those guys,” Webb said. “It’s awesome. It’s a cool accomplishment.”

2. Joc’s productive night
Pederson is in uncharted territory this month.

After playing on a division-winning team in each of his first eight seasons in the Majors, Pederson is on track to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career now that the Giants’ elimination number is down to two. It hasn’t exactly been an enjoyable experience for Pederson, who earned his “Joctober” nickname due to his penchant for postseason heroics.

“It’s not fun,” Pederson said. “I like playing in the playoffs. I signed up here after this team won 107 games expecting to compete again. Things didn’t go our way. It happens. I don’t enjoy not playing meaningful baseball.”

While the Giants have fallen short of expectations, Pederson has largely lived up to the billing and emerged as an impact bat after signing a one-year, $6 million deal over the offseason. He bashed a leadoff home run off Rockies right-hander Germán Márquez to collect his team-leading 23rd blast of the season in the first inning and added an RBI triple that hit off the first-base bag and was deflected by second baseman Alan Trejo in the seventh, boosting his OPS to .858 on the season. 

Would Pederson be interested in re-signing with the Giants this winter? 

“It’s a really cool organization,” Pederson said. “I’ve played for four really awesome organizations, so I don’t know. I guess we’ll see what happens in the offseason.”

3. Crawford adds to growing highlight reel
It’s been a down season for , but the 35-year-old shortstop is ending the year with one of his finest stretches of defensive play in recent memory. After flashing the leather throughout the Giants’ 6-1 road trip to Denver and Arizona, Crawford made yet another web gem on Tuesday, backhanding a grounder in the hole and firing a perfect throw to first base to retire Elias Díaz to start the fourth.

Kapler said he believes the strong finish can help build confidence that Crawford will be able to rebound and come back stronger in 2023, the final season of the two-year, $32 million extension he signed last year. 

“We know two things are critical for Craw to be at his best,” Kapler said. “No. 1, he has to be healthy. We have to figure out ways to help him be the healthiest, strongest version of himself. No. 2, his offseason program needs to be dialed. Last year was a major struggle for any number of reasons, but No. 1, because of the lockout and our inability to get him the tools he needed to be excellent this year. What we’ve seen since he came off the IL is a highly conditioned athlete and a healthy athlete. And when Craw is highly conditioned and healthy, he’s as good as anybody in the league at the shortstop position.”