Webb joins exclusive Giants club with latest dominant start


SAN FRANCISCO -- When the game was over Tuesday night and Gabe Kapler had given all the necessary handshakes for the 78th time this season, he quickly retreated back to his office in the clubhouse. Kapler has asked since the start of spring training for his pitchers to push the pace and keep pressure on opponents, so his eyes were immediately drawn to three numbers on his cell phone screen.

"I looked at my phone after the game and I was like, 'Damn, that was a fast game,'" Kapler said.

Webb and the Giants needed just two hours, 27 minutes to down the Mets 3-2 and improve to 78-42. There are a lot of reasons why Webb has taken a leap over the past three months, but an underrated one is pace, and Kapler was again pleased with how confident and efficient his youngest starter was. 

Webb barely even let the ball leave the infield. Of his 22 outs, 21 were recorded via a groundout or strikeout, and just two Mets hit a flyball against Webb, who recorded an out in the eighth for the first time as a big leaguer. 

"You know, they're a pretty aggressive team, so I think if I could kind of match that aggressiveness I could get some quick outs," Webb said. "That was the whole game plan going in and it worked out."

Webb worked so quickly that the sun had barely set when he started to think of a shutout. He had never recorded more than 21 outs as a big leaguer, but he needed just 57 pitches to get through five innings and 78 to get through the seventh.

That's when Pete Alonso ended any dreams of being the one to lead the handshake line, hitting a two-run blast to left that ended Webb's night, but this was still one of the more efficient starts of his career and continued an incredible run.

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Prior to this season, the Giants had just two starters in franchise history make at least 11 consecutive starts of two runs or fewer. They have now seen two right-handers do it this season alone, with Webb joining mentor Kevin Gausman, who ran off a 12-start streak from April 19 through June 23. Webb's streak is at 11 after his latest bit of dominance. 

"I don't think there's any denying that he's been among the league's best starters -- not just ours, but the league's best starters -- over the last calendar month since he came off the IL," Kapler said. "He's kind of gotten better and better and today was his most efficient outing to date. Efficiency is the thing that kind of gives you the hope that he can keep doing this, because we all know that the movement and the stuff is there, and (now) it's really just the pounding of the strike zone." 

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