Kurtenbach: Logan Webb showed the new-look Giants the way forward. Can this team follow their leader?

SAN FRANCISCO — Logan Webb did what aces should do on Wednesday.

After the Giants dropped the first two games of their home series against the Dodgers — in front of a not-so-partisan Oracle Park crowd — Webb said his team was “embarrassed.” It turned Wednesday’s contest into a must-win game.

And Webb delivered, throwing six shutout innings in a 4-1 Giants win, despite a 31-pitch first frame that led manager Bob Melvin to question if he could even make it to the second half of the game.

The Giants might be 1.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot in the National League as of Thursday morning, but having not defeated one of the league’s two best teams (the Dodgers and Phillies) in the nine games prior to Wednesday was the defining factor of the season to date.

Add in the team’s absurd string of injuries, and a sub-.500 record overall, and you have a team that had lost every ounce of its preseason optimism and was looking down the pipe at months of maintained mediocrity and the malaise — from the fans and in the clubhouse — that comes along with it.

But for one night, momentum was, indeed, as good as the day’s starting pitcher.

“To give us six shutout innings — that’s probably his best work of the year,” Melvin said.

No, one win in 10 doesn’t change much, but it was sure nice to see the team’s only standout player — Webb — give the team exactly what it needed, and for his teammates — many of which just joined the big-league team — back him up.

Webb was caught by Curt Casali on Wednesday. The catcher is no stranger to Webb or the Giants, but he was literally in a different organization — and different league altogether — the day prior. Casali had two hits for the Iowa Cubs in Syracuse on Tuesday, opted out of his minor-league deal with that organization, and signed a big-league deal with the Giants on Wednesday, catching a cross-country flight and San Francisco’s ace in 24 hours.

Given how things have been going for the Giants roster as of late, that all seemed pretty normal.

Against a Dodgers team whose top five hitters should all be All-Stars this season, the Giants started five players on Wednesday who were not on this team’s roster when the calendar flipped to May.

While a youth infusion might be exactly what this organization needs to establish a better future — on Wednesday, Luis Matos robbed a home run and had two hits, including an RBI single; Heliot Ramos added an RBI double — it’s hardly an ideal situation when you play the Dodgers.

Luckily they had Webb on the mound.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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