If the Cactus League gave out a Cy Young Award, San Francisco’s Logan Webb would have been the favorite.
Webb went 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in five spring starts, allowing seven hits and only one run in 17 innings while walking two and striking out 22.
That earned the 24-year-old right-hander a spot in the Giants’ rotation. He will make his 2021 regular-season debut when San Francisco closes out a three-game series Saturday night in Seattle.
The Giants won 6-3 Friday night as Buster Posey and Evan Longoria both homered for the second consecutive game. San Francisco blew a five-run lead in the season opener and fell 8-7 in 10 innings.
There were no guarantees entering spring training for Webb, who was 5-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) over the previous two seasons.
“My main goal coming into the season and everything was just to kind of show that I am better than what I showed the last two years,” Webb said. “I feel like I’ve had glimpses of being what I’m capable of, and now it just comes down to being consistent with it.
“There are so many different things that go into that, and I think I’m starting to hone in on that. I feel pretty good about it.”
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With his outstanding spring, plus left-hander Alex Wood (lower back strain) starting the season on the 10-day injured list, Webb’s spot in the rotation was sealed.
“I think it’s interesting that, going back to the beginning of camp, there was the possibility that even if Webb had a great spring, he might not be on our Opening Day roster based on a healthy rotation that included a performing (Aaron) Sanchez and Wood,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
“It would be interesting to see what would have happened if (Webb) did what he did in this camp and everybody was healthy because he was just so good and so consistent and made all the adjustments we asked him to make this offseason.
“He certainly had as good a camp as any pitcher we have and probably the best camp of anybody on our roster.”
Even his teammates were impressed.
“Webb looked really good all spring,” veteran Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “His off-speed was working really well, he was throwing a lot of strikes.”
Webb hopes that continues against the Mariners, against whom he is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in one career start. He will be opposed by right-hander Chris Flexen, who signed with Seattle after pitching last season in South Korea, where he went 8-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts for the Doosan Bears.
This will be Flexen’s first appearance against San Francisco.
“One thing to keep in mind I think, everybody says, ‘Ah, he spent some time in Korea.’ He is still only 26 years old,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “(The way) I look at it, he fits right into our group. He had success over in Korea. He’s looking to get that to translate over here.”
Depending upon how long Flexen lasts Saturday, the Mariners might need to lean heavily on a bullpen that has looked mediocre through the first two games. Seattle relievers have yielded five runs (four earned) in seven innings.
Even though the Mariners blew a ninth-inning lead Thursday, they emerged with a win. They weren’t as fortunate Friday when Drew Steckenrider took the loss, allowing three runs after entering a tie game in the seventh inning.
“Obviously a little different ending than we had last night,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We had our rough inning in the bullpen (Friday).”
–Field Level Media