Webb's gem: Giants ace retires 19 straight D-backs (2024)

SF poised for first three-game win streak of 2024 after crisp series opener

April 19th, 2024

Webb's gem: Giants ace retires 19 straight D-backs (1)

Sonja Chen


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe they are capable of more than they have shown thus far in 2024. On Thursday night, they finally provided a glimpse of how they could look at their best.

It all started with Logan Webb, who set the tone with his strongest outing of the young season. Webb tossed seven scoreless innings as the Giants opened a four-game set against the D-backs with a 5-0 win at Oracle Park, marking only the second time this year the club has won back-to-back games (also March 29-30 in San Diego).

Tyler Rogers and Ryan Walker followed with two clean frames, and San Francisco became the first club this season to shut out the reigning National League champions.

Webb's gem: Giants ace retires 19 straight D-backs (2)

"That's probably as good a game as we played all year, all the way around," manager Bob Melvin said. "That's kind of what we've been looking for. Now, we have to sustain it. We got some big hits, we got great starting pitching, we got good relief pitching, we played good defense, all of the above."

It seemed an inauspicious beginning as Webb allowed back-to-back singles to Ketel Marte and Corbin Carroll to open the game. But as it turned out, that was the only real threat the D-backs mounted against the Giants' ace.

Webb got out of the first inning unscathed with two forceouts and a strikeout, then kept the D-backs off the bases until the seventh inning, when Christian Walker drew a one-out walk -- and was subsequently picked off. In all, Webb allowed just three baserunners and struck out five.

Webb's 19 consecutive outs against the D-backs were a career high, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His previous record was 16 straight at Coors Field on May 18, 2022.

"That’s what we unfortunately have grown to expect from him. It’s not fair to say that to him, but that’s the guy we all know out there," right fielder Mike Yastrzemski said. "He competed his butt off. It was a rocky start to the first inning. For him to keep his composure and pitch like he did the rest of the night was incredibly impressive."

Webb was able to lean on his defense by inducing 13 groundouts, often a sign that his stuff is working the way he wants. He entered the game with a 50.6% ground-ball rate through his first four starts, which ranked in the 77th percentile among qualified Major Leaguers but was still lower than his 59% mark for his career.

The discrepancy is mostly due to Webb's second start of the season, an uncharacteristic outing in which he gave up five runs to the Dodgers in 3 2/3 innings and induced only one ground ball.

"That was a weird one in L.A.," he said, "and I'm happy I've been able to get back to it, but it's still a work in progress."

Another recurring theme for Webb has been a lack of run support -- the Giants averaged 3.15 runs in his starts in 2023 -- and Thursday appeared no different until the offense showed some late life.

LaMonte Wade Jr.'s sacrifice fly that drove in Patrick Bailey in the third inning gave Webb a slim lead to work with, but it was a 1-0 game heading into the bottom of the eighth.

The Giants rallied for a four-spot, with Wilmer Flores (pinch-hit two-run double) and Yastrzemski (two-run single) delivering some much-needed insurance.

"It's kind of our identity, right?" Webb said. "We're going to fight 'til the end, and that's what we did."

Webb improved to 2-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.93 as he completed seven innings for the third straight start. He appears to be finding his groove, just like the Giants are aiming to do -- and Thursday's win could prove crucial in that regard, as it gives the team a chance to win three straight games for the first time in 2024.

Now that Melvin has sent Webb to the mound for five regular-season starts, he's learned a lot about his No. 1 starter. And even though his ace-caliber stuff and poise are striking when he takes the ball every five days, it's Webb's attitude in the interim that stands out most to Melvin.

"It's the wanting to get better and striving to get better and working hard every year," Melvin said. "Now he's become that guy that … the other teams look for and don't want [to face] in the three-game matchups."

Webb's gem: Giants ace retires 19 straight D-backs (2024)
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