Giants Observations

What we learned as Webb goes distance in Giants' win vs. Padres

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SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point this week, maybe at some point in this series, both the Giants and San Diego Padres will be eliminated from the NL playoff race. But something still was at stake Monday night at Oracle Park.

Starting pitchers Blake Snell and Logan Webb are two of the leading NL Cy Young Award candidates, and while Snell is a clear front-runner, the Giants had a chance to make things a little interesting if Webb could pitch a gem and the lineup finally could get to Snell. 

The hitters couldn't put a dent in Snell's case, but Webb certainly did all he could to climb ballots. 

Webb threw his second complete game of the year, tossing a 110-pitch gem to lead the Giants to a 2-1 win that moved them one game ahead of the Padres in the NL West standings. The right-hander essentially clinched the MLB innings pitched title, too.

The Giants trailed all night, but they finally came through in the bottom of the eighth. Marco Luciano's double put two in scoring position, and Michael Conforto brought them home when he shot a 100-mph fastball the other way for a two-run single.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler sent Webb back out for the ninth and stuck with him after the Padres got a pair of singles to start things. Webb finished his night with three consecutive groundouts and had 15 in all, along with seven strikeouts. 

Webb Not Wearing Down

With the nine innings, Webb reached 216 for the season, extending his MLB lead. Only two other pitchers -- Zac Gallen and Gerrit Cole -- have reached 200. Gallen is in second at 203 2/3 innings.

Webb will become the first Giants pitcher to lead the majors in innings pitched since Gaylord Perry did it in back-to-back years, in 1969 and 1970. The only other Giants to ever do it are Juan Marichal, Joe McGinnity and Amos Rusie.

Webb also threw his 24th quality start, moving past Cole for the league lead. He's looking to become the first Giant to lead MLB in quality starts since Rick Reuschel finished in a tie with Orel Hershiser in 1988.

More On The Ace

Webb is a throwback in today's game, and he certainly stands out on a Giants staff that won't have anyone else reach even 160 innings. He became the first Giants starter since Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in 2016 to reach 215 innings. With five more innings, he'll join Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Livan Hernandez and Jason Schmidt as the only Giants to reach 220 since Oracle Park opened. 

The innings are good ones, too. Webb lowered his ERA to 3.25, which ranks fourth in the National League. 

Marco Monday

Marco Luciano had just two walks in his first 27 plate appearances but showed good command of the strike zone against Snell and twice drew walks.

In the ninth, he showed the bat speed that has made him such a highly regarded prospect. Robert Suarez grooved a 99-mph fastball on a 2-2 count, and Luciano went with it, smoking it into the right-field corner for a double.

It's a small sample, but Luciano is hitting .333 with a .863 OPS in nine big league games and also playing solid defense at short. He certainly looks like he'll enter the offseason as the Opening Day shortstop front-runner. 

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