The Giants are playing sixteen games in sixteen days straight. They’re in Atlanta, where Friday night they lost the first of a three-gamer. Saturday was game two – Game Five of the Gauntlet of 16. The Giants sent Logan Webb (7-3, 2.67 ERA, 111 K) to the mound against the Braves’ Huascar Ynoa (4-3, 2.90 ERA, 66 K).
- LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
- Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
- Buster Posey (R) C
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Wilmer Flores (R) 3B
- Alex Dickerson (L) LF
- Darin Ruf (R) 1B
- Mike Yastrzemski (L) CF
- Logan Webb (R) P
For the fourth time in five games, the Giants jumped out to a lead in the top of the first inning on the road – tonight it was a solo shot by Tommy La Stella in Atlanta.
It was funny because Silk hit the last ball of the game last night that went all the way to the center field wall, only to be barely caught by a jumping, stumbling Joc Pederson with the tip of his glove, the last out of the ninth. It felt like Tommy went to bed back at the hotel in Atlanta thinking that should have been a dinger. I picture him scribbling on the hotel notepad next to the bed, ‘hit home run’ on his list of things to do, first thing.
LaMonte Wade, Jr. flied out to start the game. Crawford grounded out and Posey flew out on either side of the homer. Giants 1, Braves 0.
- Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
- Jorge Soler (R) RF
- Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
- Austin Riley (R) 3B
- Dansby Swanson (R) SS
- Travis d’Arnaud (R) C
- Adam Duvall (R) LF
- Joc Pederson (L) CF
- Huascar Ynoa (R) P
Ozzie Albies singled and stole second, just beating the throw from Posey to La Stella to lead off the Braves’ first. Webb then struck out Jorge Soler and Freddie Freeman before giving up an infield single to the impressive young talent Austin Riley to short that advanced Albies to third. With runners in the corners, Webb got Dansby Swanson to ground to short and the Giants picked up Swanson on the fielder’s choice.
Ynoa had a three up, three down second on sixteen pitches retiring Flores (K), Dickerson (flied out) and Ruf (grounded out to third). In the bottom half, Webb walked Pederson but retired Ynoa, Duvall and D’arnaud without incident.
Yaz struck out, but then Logan Webb doubled on a well-hit liner to left. Wade singled to advance Webb to third, and with runners in the corners, LaStella tallied his second RBI of the night with a sac fly to bring home Webb. The Giants looked for more. Wade stole second and Posey walked. But then Crawford popped out to second for the last out. Giants 2, Mets 0.
Webb struck out Albies and Soler but then gave up consecutive singles to Freeman and Riley before getting Swanson to fly out to center to end the inning.
Both pitchers cruised through the fourth and fifth allowing no hits and no runs. (neither hits nor runs). Darin Ruf walked, but Ynoa retired the side around him in the fourth. He had a ten-pitch three-up, three-down fifth.
In the fourth Webb hit d’Arnaud, but the Giants neutralized it with a double-play. Because the HBP was on the first pitch to d’Arnaud, and the DP grounder came on a first pitch to Duvall, when Webb got Joc Pederson to fly out on one pitch – he’d done something that had only occurred 109 times before in all of baseball history – he’d pitched an inning on three pitches.
Logan Webb finished the fourth on three pitches, an HBP, a DP grounder and a pop up. But the sixth was what defined his night.
Huascar Ynoa cruised through the top of the sixth. He got Posey to ground out to short. Crawford walked, but the Braves picked him up on an FC off a Flores grounder. Dickerson struck out to end the top half of the frame. Ynoa ended on 96 pitches through six, giving up two runs on three hits, with two walks and three Ks.
The bottom of the sixth inning was the latest test Logan Webb passed indicating that, in the second half of the Giants’ remarkable season, he is now the ace of the staff. He has looked great these last few weeks, and tonight he was impervious under duress.
Freddie Freeman led off with a single to second. Austin Riley hit a roller to third that should have been a routine double play. Wilmer Flores scooped it all right, but when he fired the ball to second, it flew wide before the bag, sort of between second and first. The overthrow allowed Freeman to advance to third. In a two-run game, Logan Webb’s 82nd pitch came with runners in the corners and nobody out.
Webb was good. He popped out Dansby Swanson on three pitches and induced the inning-ending double-play from Travis d’Arnaud on two. The 91mph sinker finished them both. Webb punched his glove and stalked off the mound with confidence. Logan Webb has been exceptional since his return from the IL. The Giants would end tonight 12-1 in his last 13 starts.
Yaz added a big fly in the seventh off Braves reliever Richard Rodriguez, who also gave up a walk to Wade later in the inning, but managed to get out of it with no more runs crossing the plate. Giants 3, Braves 0.
Logan Webb returned for the seventh and sat down Duvall, Pederson and pinch hitter Eddie Rosario. He was in command. At the end of his night, Webb scattered five hits across seven shutout innings, hurling five strikeouts and giving up just one walk.
The Giants tacked on in the eighth, with situational hitting and small ball: move ’em along. Buster led off with a first-pitch single swatted to right. Craw struck out but Wilmer Flores continued hitting, driving a ball hard to third and legging it out, advancing Posey. Then Alex Dickerson sacrificed Posey to third with a just-deep-enough fly to right. The struggling Darin Ruf got an RBI, as he singled, scoring Posey and moving Wilmer to second. Then Yaz stepped up and doubled in Flores. Giants 5, Braves 0.
Rogers started the eighth giving up leadoff infield singles to Albies and Soler. The place was rocking. Facing Freddie Freeman and loud Braves fans, unified in their ugly, racist, asinine “chop,” Rogers stiffened, tightened up and struck him out on three pitches. It was great. Utterly deflated the building.
Rogers battled Austin Riley and got him to line out to third. Flores snagged the rocket cleanly. Swanson grounded out to second to end the inning and I was amazed to see Jesse Chavez making his way to the mound. The last time I saw the 37-year-old from San Gabriel was in Kelly green with the A’s, nearly a decade ago. He struck out Wade and La Stella and got Posey to line out to center. wow. 15 pitches, two K’s for the veteran from So Cal.
Jay Jackson struck out the side to end the game! He got d’Arnaud looking and Duvall and Pederson swinging. It was a much-needed show of command from our returning 33yo vet.
Giants 5, Mets 0
Way to go Giants! Great bounceback win!
And for those keeping track at home, yes, the stylish grey cap is now 13-2:
five down, twelve to go in the Gauntlet.
Let’s get the series Sunday and fly home winners.
Let’s Go Giants!
(btw, this is the 60th GBC post of the 2021 season, thanks to all readers. Love, Karthik)