Logan Webb

What we learned as Webb struggles in Giants' loss to Braves

NBC Universal, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants returned home from a difficult six-game East Coast road trip only to begin a difficult six-game homestand.

It didn't get any easier.

After losing two of three games to both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco welcomed Atlanta to the Bay for the second three-game series against MLB's best team in the last week.

Logan Webb (L, 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB, 1 K) toed the rubber against Braves ace Spencer Strider (W, 7 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 9 K) and struggled against Atlanta's ferocious lineup for the second time in six days.

Here are three observations from the Giants' 5-1 loss to the Braves.

Cy Young Matchup?

On paper, you couldn't have asked for a better pitcher's duel than the one between Webb and Strider on Friday night. Well, wad up that piece of paper and light it on fire.

Both Strider and Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen are considered the favorites for the NL Cy Young Award right now, with Webb lurking close behind. However, on Friday, only one of the two pitchers on the mound appeared worthy of consideration.

Webb surrendered a solo home run to Braves outfielder Michael Harris II in the top of the first inning before settling in for three innings. Webb then ran into trouble in the top of the fourth, surrendering three hits and two runs as the Giants trailed 3-0.

Webb was removed with one out in the top of the sixth after surrendering a leadoff triple to Ronald Acuña Jr., who scored on an RBI single by Harris, who also came around to score on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field that gave the Braves a commanding 5-0 lead.

Strider, to nobody's surprise, dominated a struggling Giants lineup. What initially was billed as a duel between two elite arms was very one-sided.

Three runs felt like 10

On any other night, a three-run deficit wouldn't be such a big deal. Unfortunately for the Giants, Webb was on the mound and the lineup apparently is allergic to scoring runs for their ace.

If the Giants' offense is clicking, they usually will show signs of life early on. Outside of two hits from Wade Meckler and Luis Matos, the bats were ice-cold through the first five innings.

That proved to be an ominous sign against one of MLB's best pitchers. At that point in the game, a three-run deficit felt insurmountable.

The Braves tacked on two more runs in the sixth and delivered the final nail in the coffin.

Joc Pederson provided one of the very few Giants highlights with a triple into the right-center field gap in the bottom of the seventh and came around to score San Francisco's lone run of the game on a fielder's choice.

Braves fans travel well

The home-field advantage that Oracle Park is known for was all but gone Friday night.

Of the 36,000-plus patrons in attendance, it's safe to assume more than one-third of them were Braves fans, if not more.

As Harris rounded the bases after his home run in the first, the crowd was so loud that it felt like the blast came off the bat of a Giants hitter. The Atlanta fans had plenty to cheer about and oftentimes drowned out a frustrated San Francisco crowd who begged and pleaded for just a single run.

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