Dubón homer helps Giants win, close in on playoff spot.
Pitcher enters in relief to contain Colorado bats
The Giants found a new job for Logan Webb, and it’s a doozy. Meet the team’s new bulk pitcher.
Webb’s recent struggles in the rotation were too substantial for the Giants to keep relying on him in the same role, so they the switched it up and used a reliever to start a game for the first time in 2020.
It worked. Lefty Caleb Baragar tossed a 10pitch first inning, and Webb entered in the second and pitched some of his best ball of the season, giving the Giants an opportunity to pull out Wednesday’s 72 victory over the Rockies.
Mauricio Dubón’s threerun homer broke a 22 tie, and Webb and his fellow relievers took it from there to push the 2827 Giants (.50909 winning percentage) into the first of two wildcard spots, just ahead of the 2928 Reds
With one game left with the Rockies, a Thursday matinee, and four with the Padres, the Giants are in position to reach the postseason for the first time in four years, but they’ll need to keep winning because plenty of contenders remain in competition for playoff spots.
It was Webb’s turn to start Wednesday, but he brought a 5.73 ERA into the game, 8.86 in his five previous starts. After retiring 10 of 19 batters in his previous start, he admitted he was “thinking about too much stuff ” including about his mechanics.
Manager Gabe Kapler had vowed to keep Webb in the rotation, but the decision was tweaked, and he waited until Wednesday afternoon to announce that Baragar was getting the start.
“With Baragar, we’re confident he has the capability to pound the strike zone and potentially get two lefthanded hitters out for us,” Kapler said. “It doesn’t always work out that way, but we’re having Baragar start the game for at least that reason.”
Baragar made quick work of Raimel Tapia (who bats lefty), Kevin Pillar and Trevor Story, and Kapler left in Baragar for one more batter in the second, but when Charlie Blackmon (another lefty) doubled, it was time for Webb.
By opening with Baragar, Webb didn’t face the top of the Rockies’ lineup — their best hitters — until the third inning when Tapia reached on an infield single and scored on Story’s single.
Third baseman Evan Longoria, who played some of his smoothest defense of the season, making plays from many angles, homered off Ryan Castellani in the fourth inning to tie the score.
The Rockies moved ahead in the fifth when Tapia doubled over left fielder Alex Dickerson’s glove to score Garrett Hampson from first base and make it 21, Rockies, and the Giants responded in the home half with a fourrun rally.
Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice fly made it 22, and after Longoria walked, Castellani was replaced by Yency Almonte, who had given up one homer all season. Almonte threw a secondpitch slider to Dubón, who easily cleared the wall in leftcenter, a threerun homer that decided the game.
The Giants added two runs in the eighth when Joey Bart tripled to rightcenter and scored on a single by Steven Duggar, who was added to the roster Wednesday to replace injured Luis Basabe, and Dickerson doubled and scored on a single by Brandon Belt, his 500th career RBI.
Dickerson had three hits and is batting .500 (17for34) against Colorado with 11 extra base hits and 10 RBIs in nine games.
Webb pitched into the seventh inning and was relieved after yielding a oneout single to Hampson. Webb threw 84 pitches and was charged with two runs on seven hits in 51⁄3 innings.
Tyler Rogers, who made history Tuesday by winning a game the same day as Minnesota’s Taylor Rogers, the first time twins were winners on the same day, retired two of three batters Wednesday to complete the seventh, and lefties Tony Watson and Sam Selman pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively.
Top: Mauricio Dubón celebrates his goahead threerun homer with Evan Longoria in the fifth inning.
Above: Logan Webb entered in the second inning and left in the seventh, earning pitching credit for the win.