Mike Yastrzemski

What we learned as Webb, Matos help Giants beat Dodgers, avoid sweep

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SAN FRANCISCO -- As he walked into the dugout Wednesday evening, Logan Webb smiled and said the key to ending this losing streak against the Los Angeles Dodgers was simple: Just don't pitch poorly. 

Simple, right? 

On Wednesday, it was. Webb overcame a long first inning to get through six shutout frames and the bullpen did the rest despite a key arm being down for the night. When Camilo Doval closed it out in the ninth, the Giants had a 4-1 win, their first over the Dodgers this season after five straight losses. 

Webb threw 32 pitches in the first but left the bases loaded. He allowed just two more hits the rest of the way, finishing with a flourish with strikeouts of Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernandez in the sixth inning. It was a particularly rough night for Hernandez, who also was robbed of a solo homer by Luis Matos.

The Giants were without Ryan Walker, who is dealing with minor back tightness, but two young pitchers stepped up to bridge the gap. Sean Hjelle and Erik Miller combined for a scoreless seventh, with Miller freezing Shohei Ohtani with a 99 mph fastball that ended the inning.

The Giants never give Webb much run support, but on this night he at least had an early lead. Mike Yastrzemski hit a two-run homer in the third and Heliot Ramos padded the lead with an RBI double in the sixth, giving him nine hits and five RBI in his first eight games back in the big leagues. 

Leading The Way

Webb's first appearance against the Dodgers this year was a nightmare, with a deep lineup forcing 96 pitches out of him in just 3 2/3 innings and putting five runs on his line. Webb threw his changeup -- one of the best pitches in baseball -- just 14 times that night, and afterward he regretted his pitch mix. 

On Wednesday, he again put the changeup in his back pocket, throwing it just 15 times. But he had an adjustment for the Dodgers. Webb threw 17 four-seamers, his most since May of 2021. The pitch wasn't all that effective in terms of getting outs, but it changed the eye level against a Dodgers lineup that has given Webb trouble in the past when he lives at the bottom of the zone. 

With six shutout innings, Webb lowered his ERA to 3.03. He has gone at least six innings in all five of his home starts this season and allowed just five total runs. 

Commodore Connection

Curt Casali was in New York when he found out that he would be trading his Iowa Cubs jersey in for orange and black. He had a long flight ahead of him, but that didn't keep him from staying up late Tuesday to wait for the Giants game to end. Casali wanted to connect with Yastrzemski, a fellow Vanderbilt product and close friend. 

Casali said Yastrzemski's first reaction via text was excited and filled with expletives. On Wednesday afternoon, the two sat side by side in chairs in front of Casali's locker, and a few hours later they got the Giants on the board. 

Casali singled to right in his first at-bat and Yastrzemski followed with his fourth homer of the year. The ball traveled just 345 feet, but that was enough given that Yastrzemski pulled it right down the line.

Casali had a single and a walk in his first Giants game since July 4, 2022. He had a strong night defensively, saving Webb from a wild pitch with an athletic stop in the first inning and later pulling two pitches back into the zone for strikeouts of Ohtani. 

Matos Mania

Matos hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat back in the big leagues, but it's been a rough week for him defensively. He has misjudged multiple line drives to center or the gaps and had a high fly ball hit off his glove in Tuesday's loss. 

The Giants are going to be patient, and in the fourth inning Wednesday, Matos showed that he might be capable of handling the position with some adjustments to his positioning and a little bit of time. He was playing deep on Hernandez and that allowed him to get back to the wall in time for a leaping grab.

The outfield wall has sent Austin Slater (concussion) and Jung Hoo Lee (dislocated shoulder) to the IL on this homestand, and Matos went down hard in about the exact same spot where Lee got hurt. Yastrzemski immediately called for trainer Dave Groeschner, but by the time he got out to the track, Matos was up and attempting to walk it off. He stayed in and didn't appear to have any issues the rest of the night. 

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