Home Sports Dodgers disappointed after having Webb ‘on the ropes’ early

Dodgers disappointed after having Webb ‘on the ropes’ early

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Dodgers disappointed after having Webb ‘on the ropes' early

Dodgers disappointed after having Webb ‘on the ropes’ early originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts knew the challenge his team faced Wednesday night as they sought to sweep the Giants on the road and improve to 6-0 on the season against their historic rivals. of the National League West.

While giving the ball to 29-year-old Elieser Hernandez for the first time this season, Giants manager Bob Melvin entrusted staff ace Logan Webb with getting back into the win column one night after a loss by eight-run blowout. Roberts acknowledged the difficulties the Dodgers faced in Webb during his pregame availability, comparing the 2023 National League Cy Young Award runner-up’s arsenal to that of a backyard pitcher throwing a wiffle ball.

“Very durable, really good competitor,” Roberts said. “It’s difficult to square it because the ball moves everywhere. He doesn’t get scared. I think he’s probably one of the most underrated starters in baseball. … Every time he gets the ball, they have a good chance to win.”

Webb’s competitor shined brightest in a The Giants win 4-1especially after a rough start to what looked like a possible long game in the Dodgers’ favor.

Mookie Betts opened the game with a low changeup from the strike zone to center field, followed by a six-pitch walk to Shohei Ohtani to bring star first baseman Freddie Freeman to the plate. Having the speed of Betts and Ohtani on the bases and Freeman in the batter’s box is never good for a pitcher, not even one of Webb’s caliber. But Webb made sure and sent Freeman back to the dugout with a foul strikeout into the glove of catcher Curt Casali.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith then went through a nine-pitch at-bat that ended with a pitch to his left arm. Just like that, Webb had already thrown 23 pitches through his first four batters of the game, recorded just one out and loaded the bases for Max Muncy, who entered the night with a career .375 batting average against Webb , including three home runs.

Webb struck out Muncy on four pitches and escaped a scoreless first inning after Teoscar Hernandez hit a line drive to right fielder Mike Yastrzemski. The Dodgers brought in six batters, forced Webb to throw 32 pitches and got nothing to show for it.

The first inning was his chance to capitalize on Webb’s errors, and his deficiencies in those three outs persisted after the loss.

“In that first inning we had Webb on the ropes and we couldn’t capitalize right there,” Roberts said. “He then settled in and we didn’t really threaten after that.”

A lineup of MLB All-Star and MVP candidates has dominated opposing pitchers this season. Before Wednesday night, the Dodgers led the National League in batting average, hits, home runs, doubles, runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and also walks.

But they left 11 men on base and went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.

The top of the fifth inning was the Dodgers’ second chance to get to Webb, and again they failed. Ohtani hit a two-out single up the middle and advanced to third base on Freeman’s line drive to right field, but Ohtani was held within 90 feet of scoring the Dodgers’ first run of the night when Smith hit a force grounder. to shortstop Casey Schmitt.

“We were knocking on the door several times tonight, but we couldn’t collect them,” Smith said. “He never gives up. He has really good things. He was putting pressure on after the first innings and was able to escape with a zero.

“You just tip your cap and try to move on to the next inning. I thought we were sticking to our plan. We made it very difficult for them, we just didn’t capitalize on some races and that happens sometimes.”

What looked like a short outing for Webb ended with six scoreless innings in which he allowed three hits while also striking out three and walking three. The Dodgers attacked 18 batters before recording another hit off Webb after Betts’ leadoff single. After the first inning, Webb averaged just over 14 pitches in his final five innings, and two of his three strikeouts came in his final inning of the night.

“It’s over 30 pitches, and I wonder how he’s going to go four (innings), much less six,” Melvin said after the win.

The Dodgers have a short flight back to Los Angeles, but that first inning will be frustrating for Roberts and others alike to look back on what could have been.

The Giants, at 20-25, are somehow just 1.5 games out of the NL’s third wild card after Wednesday’s win. Webb earned the first home win of his career in the regular season against Los Angeles by pressing and being the bulldog the Giants so badly needed him to be, possibly creating the perfect amount of momentum before hosting the last-but-hot Colorado Rockies for three Games at Oracle Park.

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