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Logan Webb shows his midseason form against the Cubs

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SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Not even three weeks ago, Logan Webb and Marcus Stroman were back and forth on Twitter about the possibility of hosting their own shows here in Arizona. Anything to play competitive baseball amid a lockout that showed no signs of ending anytime soon.

At 7:05 p.m. Friday night, Webb threw the first pitch of the Giants’ compressed Cactus League roster. Eight minutes later, after a 1-2-3 in the top half with two punchouts, Stroman fired his first shot at Mike Yastrzemski. It took a little longer than they wanted, but the two respective staff aces got what they wanted in its fullest, truest form. With players locked out for 99 days and that first spring training game pushed back 10 days, the big news on Friday was that they were finally going to play baseball.

“It’s really perfect,” Webb said. “I was a bit nervous out there. It was good to get that feeling again. I was sitting in the dugout before and there’s this feeling in my chest. I can’t really explain. I tried to absorb everything and get that feeling back.”

On opening night of the Cactus League game, Webb’s repertoire looked ready for opening day. He started his two innings of work by getting Nico Hoerner to swing low and away on a change and finished his outing with his fifth punchout, freezing Greg Deichmann on a slider that just hit the inside corner of the plate crossed.

Spectators poured through the gates two hours before the first pitch and secured their seats on the outfield berm. There were crowds outside the home plate gate as Webb fired the first pitch. hit one A sinker. Scottsdale Stadium holds about 12,000 fans, but Webb said it felt like pitching in front of 30,000 on Friday night.

In two innings of work, Webb hit five and surrendered only a single baserunner, a free pass to Clint Frazier. Afterward, he said he felt he could have played three innings. Three or four more of those, he said, and he’s ready for opening day.

The only time he didn’t see the part was during a short stretch early in the second inning when he lost control, threw a pitch behind a Cubs batter and let Frazier steal second base.

“That was one of the first things they said after that, like, ‘Hey, next bullpen, let’s work on that,'” Webb said.

He started the game with a sinker. He announced four batters with his out pitch, the changeup. And he proudly left the mound after recording his final strikeout with his slider, the weak link in his repertoire he honed in Bullpens this spring.

“There were a few today that felt really good,” Webb said, including that last offering, on his 30th pitch of the night.

Before the first pitch, Webb spotted Stroman from his seat in midfield, where he was warming up, smiling and tipping his cap. Stroman returned the gesture and jogged over, hugging the player who went from negotiating teammate to on-field opponent in 16 days.

On March 2nd, Webb sent out a tweet that caught the attention of a few players, including Stroman. Like many of his peers, Webb was in Arizona but locked out of his team’s facilities, unable to organize more than glorious bullpen sessions. “I need to get some sim games working here in AZ,” Webb wrote. Stroman was there.

The suspension ended less than a week later, so no sim games materialized. But the interaction birthed a bond between two hurlers with similar styles — one an established All-Star and one of the most desirable armies in this free-agent class, the other whose lights-out finish last season made him the same made level of respect.

“We sinker-ballers have to stick together,” said Webb, who went 10-0 in his last 20 starts with a 2.40 ERA and was right back on form Friday night. “He’s a good guy. … We said we’d say hello before the game, so I just tipped my cap and said what’s up.

When it actually came time to throw the first pitch, Webb had to guess – no fault of Batterymate Joey Bart.

Bart flashed the shield between his legs, but on one of two nighttime starts this spring, Webb was completely blind to his catcher’s fingers.

“He knocked down the first sign of the night and I thought I can’t see that. I think it’s a sinker. Chances are it’s a sinker,” Webb said.

Good guess.

“I told him, ‘Dude, you need to open your legs or something,'” Webb said, laughing. “Then he put some nail stuff on so it was better to see the second inning.”

Remarkable

  • The Giants continued their pattern from previous camps and did not renew off-roster invites to their biggest prospects. But three of those players – Marco Luciano, Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop – were on hand on Friday. As a member of the 40-man squad, Ramos is already in the big league camp but Luciano and Bishop have been called up to come off the bench in the big league opener. That’s generally how the Giants got their most promising young players in spring training under Kapler. Friday certainly won’t be the last time either of those trios take the field at Scottsdale Stadium this spring. Ramos was the first to come into play on Friday night, taking over right field for Yastrzemski at the top of fifth.

This game is still ongoing. Check back for updates and a score when it’s final.

https://www.thereporter.com/2022/03/18/in-fitting-fashion-logan-webb-flashes-midseason-form-in-sf-giants-spring-opener-vs-cubs-stroman/ Logan Webb shows his midseason form against the Cubs

Dais Johnston

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