Logan Webb shook his fists as he set up a star-studded Dodgers lineup throughout the game, then raised his pitching hand in appreciation after a masterful postseason debut.
Webb struck out 10 while working the eighth inning, Buster Posey hit a two-run homer that he endured, and the San Francisco Giants, who won 107 wins, blanked defending World Series champion Los Angeles 4-4. 0 on Friday night in the first game of their National League. Division series.
Those two Giants giants summed up this year perfectly for the NL West champions: a brilliant performance from the young right-hander supported by a veteran receiver who has shone on this big October stage so many times before.
Webb credited Posey’s presence behind the plate to help him stand out.
“Just having him there, honestly,” Webb said. “He will calm me down.”
Kris Bryant and Brandon Crawford also homered to back up a five-hitter by Webb and a pair of relievers.
Everyone knows that this matchup between centuries-old rivals takes this best-of-five playoff series to another level. They finished with the two best records in baseball, the division narrowed to the final day when the Dodgers finished a game behind with 106 wins, ending their streak of eight consecutive West crowns.
That meant Los Angeles had to beat the Cardinals in the wild-card game Wednesday night and then fly straight to the Bay Area, where a rowdy crowd filled Oracle Park.
“The energy today was incredible,” Webb said.
The Dodgers will try to even the series when they send 20-game winner Julio Urías to the mound for Game 2 on Saturday night against Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Webb waved his pitching hand and walked away to a standing ovation in the eighth after a two-out single by Mookie Betts. He didn’t walk when he out-pitching Dodgers ace Walker Buehler.
“I was pretending it was a backyard game,” Bryant said.
Webb joined two other pitchers to earn a postseason start with 10 or more strikeouts, no walks and no runs: Jake Arrieta for the Cubs on October 7, 2015, against the Pirates and Cliff Lee for the Phillies on October 18. . 2009, against the Dodgers.
Tyler Rogers relieved for the last out in the eighth and rookie Camilo Doval worked calmly in the ninth.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler, making his own playoff debut at the top of the dugout, was absolutely confident that the 24-year-old Webb would shine in the best start of his life. Last Sunday, Webb pitched the Giants to the Padres in the final of the regular season, when San Francisco won the club’s first division title since 2012. Webb has not lost since May 5 in Colorado.
With a change and a slider, Webb was in total command. He also converted four comebackers to outs.
“I think, to be honest with you, we made no adjustments,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Tommy La Stella hit a pair of singles and played brilliant defense, starting with a five-pitch walk by Buehler in the bottom of the first.
That set things up for Posey, who was left out of last year’s coronavirus-shortened season to care for prematurely born foster twins. He hit a 3-0 pitch off a water-spraying pillar over the right-field gallery with two outs in the first to send the crowd of 41,934 waving the orange towel into a frenzy.
“The damn spine prevented a hit from me,” Posey snapped with a grin. No right-handed hitter has ever made it to McCovey Cove.
Kapler said Posey could play every postseason game, and why not? At age 34, the veteran wide receiver started five of the last six games of the regular season and 10 of 13 overall to end the season. It marked his first postseason home run since Game 4 of the 2012 World Series in Detroit against Max Scherzer.
La Stella stopped Justin Turner’s hard roll to second base in the fourth and in the same move he turned Crawford around, and shortstop fired at first baseman Wilmer Flores for a late-inning double play.
“That was pretty sick,” Webb said, “It was unbelievable. He was screaming and screaming, I think everyone was screaming and screaming. It is a special work. “
This is the first postseason meeting between storied franchises whose history stretches back to their New York days. In 1951 and 1962, the teams met in a National League best-of-three tiebreaker with the Giants each winning in three.
Webb wowed on a night when San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Steve Young headlined “Beat LA!” sing before the first pitch. Home run king Barry Bonds received a standing ovation, stood and saluted as he was shown on the big screen in the middle innings, sitting with NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.
Bryant, acquired in a midseason trade with the Cubs, homered in the seventh for the Giants. Buehler lowered his head with his hands on his knees as the ball went over the left-field fence.
“Obviously it’s up to me to try to build some momentum and I kind of sucked it out of our dugout,” Buehler said.
Crawford connected in the eighth.
Buehler had been 7-0 in his lifetime against the Giants before losing on Sept. 5 in the season series finale when San Francisco edged LA 10-9, with the Dodgers leading 80-78. in races.
Dodgers: Roberts went with left-hander David Price among his 12 pitchers over fellow southpaw Justin Bruihl, who made his major league debut in August and isn’t someone Los Angeles is comfortable pitching for days in a row yet. Regarding Price, Roberts pointed to the advantages: “I think with David, certainly the experience, the ability to add some length, a neutral arm.” In fact, Roberts didn’t rule out considering Price a Game 4 starter.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto was left off the San Francisco roster after he missed significant time during the season with elbow problems. “Very difficult decision. I think we would have liked to have him stretched out and maybe look at him as someone who could start one of these games for us, ”Kapler said. “We just couldn’t get there, and that’s difficult. In particular, it’s tough because Johnny has meant a lot to the organization. “… 1B Brandon Belt is offside with a broken left thumb that he hopes will heal in time to return to the NLCS if the Giants advance.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Urías (20-3, 2.96 ERA) has not lost in 17 starts since June 21, going 11-0 in that stretch that included a Sept. 4 win at Oracle Park.
“It’s a great game and I will have maximum concentration,” said Urías.
Gausman (14-6, 2.81) was 0-1 in his last four starts after five consecutive winning decisions. But he allowed one run in seven innings last Saturday in an eventual overtime loss to San Diego.
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