Giants end 'grindy' road trip with Webb's gem

May 3rd, 2023

HOUSTON -- ’s favorite basketball team is his hometown Sacramento Kings, but he spent most of batting practice on Tuesday wearing a Steph Curry jersey after losing a bet to Golden State Warriors fan .  

One day later, Webb found himself back on the winning side, spinning 7 2/3 superb innings as the Giants defeated the Astros, 4-2, to win their second straight game and seal a series win on Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

“I think there were some frustrating moments in the game,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I don’t think any of them got the best of Logan. He continued to attack the zone with his full mix and got ground balls. He worked deep into the game for us and was efficient. Even with some of the earlier mishaps, I thought it kind of locked him in a little bit. Really nice outing for him.”

Webb needed 46 pitches to get through the first two innings following some defensive miscues from the Giants, but he managed to settle in and carry a shutout bid into the eighth. Webb returned to the mound with his pitch count at 92, but he was tested after giving up a leadoff walk to David Hensley and a single to Martín Maldonado. 

The 26-year-old right-hander coaxed a 6-4-3 double play from former Giants teammate Mauricio Dubón to come within one out of escaping the jam, but he couldn’t avoid damage after misplacing a 1-0 changeup to , who crushed it out to the Crawford Boxes in left field for a two-run shot that cut the Giants’ lead to 3-2.  

It was the eighth home run Webb has allowed over 45 innings this year -- a surprising trend considering he gave up only 11 over a career-high 192 1/3 innings in 2022. 

“I think I’d gotten him out twice already on the changeup,” Webb said. “Our scouting report says don’t throw changeups in [the strike] zone. And I threw a changeup in [the] zone. He’s a really good hitter, so he hit a homer. I can't get away from the home-run ball right now, so I’m trying to figure that out. I know we had talked about sequencing and stuff like that. That might have been one of those times where, maybe [I shouldn’t] go to the well too many times.”

Webb was charged with two runs on five hits and two walks in the 102-pitch effort, though he still lowered his ERA to 3.80 through seven starts this year. Kapler subsequently brought in for a left-on-left matchup with Yordan Alvarez, who struck out swinging on three consecutive sliders to end the inning. 

homered off Bryan Abreu to give the Giants a key insurance run in the top of the ninth, and closer worked around a leadoff walk to post a scoreless inning and convert his second save in as many days.

After being swept by the Padres in the two-game Mexico City Series, the Giants (13-17) found a way to rebound and take two of three from the defending World Series champions -- no easy feat considering many players were worn down by the extreme altitude, the difficult travel schedule and a stomach virus that resulted in gastrointestinal distress for most of the team.
“The whole trip was very grindy,” Webb said. “It’s been a mental grind, it’s been a physical grind. I think three-quarters of our clubhouse has [diarrhea]. It’s a mental and physical grind. It’ll be good to get back home. Hopefully the [diarrhea goes] away, and we’ll be better in a couple days. I’m happy we were able to come out of this with the last two wins.”

Astros left-hander and Webb -- who are 1-2 in ground-ball percentage across MLB since the start of 2021 -- matched each other with five scoreless innings before the Giants broke through in the top of the sixth. 

, who caught a rare day game after a night game, led off with a single to right field, marking the first ball the Giants hit out of the infield against Valdez. Bart advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by before scoring on ’s RBI single to put the Giants on the board. 

Bart added an RBI double off Houston reliever Phil Maton to extend the Giants’ lead to 3-0 in the seventh, lifting his batting average to .302 over 15 games this year.

“He’s obviously really good,” Bart said of Valdez. “If you’re trying to do too much to that guy, he’s going to chew you alive. Overall, probably wasn’t our best day offensively, but we did enough to win, so that’s all that matters.”