SAN FRANCISCO — When the San Francisco Giants gained three World Series titles over the five-year interval from 2010-14, they did so with younger pitchers blossoming at simply the fitting time. Without Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants wouldn’t have risen to such heights.
As they began their newest postseason quest on a cold Friday evening by the San Francisco Bay, a fresh-faced right-hander tamed the Los Angeles Dodgers and supplied indications that one thing related might be growing. Logan Webb, 24, dominated with an assortment of fastballs, changeups and floor ball-inducing sinkers over seven and two-thirds scoreless innings, handing the Giants a 4-0 win in Game 1 of this National League division collection.
It could seem presumptuous to debate Webb in phrases reserved for Lincecum, Cain and Bumgarner. But the catcher who was behind the plate for all three of these World Series titles mentioned afterward that he might see the parallels.
“It felt a little like Lincecum against the Braves in 2010,” Buster Posey mentioned, flashing again to a different division collection Game 1 when Lincecum threw an entire recreation, two-hit gem in a 1-0 win over Atlanta.
At the time, Lincecum was 26, with almost 4 full seasons on his résumé.
Webb has been within the majors for elements of three seasons, however didn’t set up himself within the rotation till final 12 months. Against the Dodgers, he grew to become the youngest San Francisco pitcher to begin a postseason recreation since Bumgarner in 2012 — and the second-youngest Giant to begin a Game 1 since Bumgarner’s 2012 National League Championship Series begin when he was 23.
“I’m so impressed with him,” mentioned Kris Bryant, whose solo residence run within the seventh helped chase Dodgers starter Walker Buehler. “His first playoff experience and he was just out there pretending like it’s a game in the backyard. It was really fun to watch. Really fun.”
This feeling of one thing particular growing has been gathering steam for a few months. Webb’s 2.40 E.R.A. since May 11 is the second-best within the majors, amongst pitchers with at the least 20 begins, trailing solely Buehler (2.32). On Friday he outshined his Los Angeles counterpart, putting out 10 and strolling none.
Webb grew up in Rocklin, Calif., simply on the opposite facet of Sacramento, about 90 minutes from San Francisco. The Giants’ fourth-round choose within the 2014 draft, he grew up following the Oakland Athletics as a result of that’s who his father preferred. He was additionally an enormous fan of the N.F.L.’s Raiders.
He’s come again from Tommy John surgical procedure and has mentioned he’s thought-about legally blind. He was identified with a extreme astigmatism, which causes blurred imaginative and prescient, in third or fourth grade when he had problem seeing the ball.
But as he blossomed this summer time, it was exhausting to consider he had something standing in his manner. Webb, who went 11-3 with a 3.03 E.R.A. in 27 video games (26 begins), completed the season making 20 consecutive begins with no shedding resolution. It is the longest such streak for the Giants since Jack Sanford in 1962.
“He’s got three pitches that are elite, which is definitely a luxury on my end,” Posey mentioned.
Webb allowed solely two hits over the primary 5 innings and bought assist from San Francisco’s spectacular protection, together with a slick, inning-ending double play within the fourth when second baseman Tommy La Stella fielded Justin Turner’s floor ball up the center and shoveled the ball from his glove to Brandon Crawford on the bag whereas La Stella’s momentum was carrying him towards heart discipline. The toss didn’t arrive in an ideal spot, however Crawford was in a position to pluck the ball out of the air and execute a handy guide a rough relay throw that reached first base simply in time.
Webb described the play as “sick.” Kapler mentioned he thought “it was one of the better plays we’ve made all year.”
And with that, the Giants have the Dodgers on their heels.