CM – Why the SF Giants chose Logan Webb for NLDS Game 1

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SAN FRANCISCO – After right-hander Logan Webb brought the Giants to a National League West title with an outstanding performance in the regular season finals, he starts game 1 of the NLDS on Friday.

Manager Gabe Kapler announced on Wednesday that Webb and non-All-Star right-handed Kevin Gausman would face the winner of the National League wildcard game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles in Game 1 on Friday at Oracle Park the NLDS will start impostor.

The Giants will know their opponent late Wednesday night as the Dodgers, the runner-up in NL West, host a Cardinals team that drove an unlikely 17-game winning streak to a playoff spot in September.

Since Webb will field game 1 of the NLDS, Gausman will take the ball in game 2 on Saturday with a full week break between starts. The first pitch of game 1 is scheduled for 6:37 pm. on Friday, while the first pitch for game 2 is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. on Saturday.

« Both guys are 100% strong and healthy, but that’s the way to show both pitchers at their best, » said Kapler.

Kapler said giving Gausman a six-day break between starts was a major factor in the team’s decision, as he said Webb’s body « rebounded » better between bouts while Gausman saw an increase in speed and command seen when he has the chance to take a long breather between trips to the hill.

« The extra days seem to give Gaus the best speed, the best action on his sliver, a bit more stamina in the game and I think Gaus expects more life and so much more of the post-season adrenaline, » said Kapler . « The combination of these things is why I feel good about the way we’re setting it up. »
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The Giants haven’t yet decided who will start Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday as right-handed Anthony DeSclafani and left-handed Alex Wood are both seen as strong contenders for the job.

Webb, 24, was one of the best pitchers in the National League for the second half of the schedule, ending the first full season of his major league career with more than seven innings against the Padres in an 11-4 win . Webb had only allowed one run before giving up three straight singles to open the eighth inning and was eventually burdened with four deserved runs.

« I came down from the hill (on Sunday) and was shivering, » said Webb. « When I looked up and saw the (crowd) it was something they said to me before, ‘Hey, take your time and really take it in,’ and I’ll do the same for this game. »

Webb ended the year with a 3.03 ERA but hit a 2.71 mark after the All-Star hiatus when the Giants went 14-2 in its second half. The right-hander has not been accused of a loss since May 5, when he gave up a season high of six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings at Coors Field against the Rockies.

« I think the perfectionist approach is part of what makes it great, but I also think it will get better at it, » Kapler said of Webb, who struggled earlier this year. « Have a little more empathy for yourself, give yourself a little more rope in the game of pitch-to-pitch so that you can start the execution process right away. »

Gausman ended the best full season of his MLB career on Saturday with seven innings of a one-run ball in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Padres. The veteran starter was named to his first all-star team of his career this season after finishing the first half with an ERA of 1.73 in 18 starts, but he struggled with control of his splinter and was up inconsistent with his last two regular season starts.

Gausman regained the form he showed earlier in the year on September 26th in Colorado when he captured his career high with 25 swings and misses on just 90 fields during six innings of a one-run Threw balls at the Rockies. With seven more strong innings against the Padres on Saturday, the Giants have every reason to believe that Gausman can continue to be successful in the postseason.

This year marks Gausman’s third trip to the playoffs, but his first as a starter when he served from the Orioles bullpen in 2014 before serving for the Braves during the NLDS third game in 2018.

« No matter who throws (Game 1 and 2), we’ll both be available for (Game 5), » said Webb. “It’s huge for both of us. We are both confident. « 

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