The San Francisco Giants hope for a repeat performance from their top returning pitcher from last season, Logan Webb, as they attempt to rebound from a series-opening home loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday afternoon.
Juan Soto hit Alex Wood’s ninth pitch of the game for a home run and the Nationals led the entire game in an 14-4 rout in the series opener on Friday night.
The three-game set is the rematch of a Giants road sweep last weekend, when they ran up 7-1, 5-2 and 12-3 scores.
Webb (2-1, 2.96 ERA) dueled fellow right-hander Joan Adon (1-3, 6.98) in the series finale last Sunday. They also are the scheduled pairing on Saturday.
Webb pitched well on the road last week — allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings — but has done most of his best work in his career at home, where he has gone 9-4 with 2.91 ERA.
One of the few blemishes on his record in last Sunday’s outing was a two-run home run by Yadiel Hernandez.
Webb is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in two career starts against Washington. He has fanned 10 and walked one in 9 2/3 innings vs. the Nationals.
The 25-year-old Northern California native will be tasked with cooling a Washington attack that sizzled in the series opener. Victor Robles, Josh Bell and Maikel Franco all had four hits as the Nationals ran up 22 in all, two more than their total in last week’s three matchups.
Two of the hits came from Soto, who entered the night hitting just .243.
Nationals batting coach Darnell Coles had to be happy about one other thing — Soto also drew his major-league-leading 21st walk of the season.
“Big picture, he’s the best hitter in baseball,” Cole said of Soto. “The one thing I reiterate to him every day is for him to take his walks and not try and do too much.”
Adon served up six hits and five runs in four-plus innings while losing to San Francisco on Sunday. He allowed a homer, a double and a sacrifice fly to Joc Pederson, who has since suffered a groin strain that will keep out of the current series.
Adon, 23, will be making the sixth start of his career, just his second on the road. The first did not go well as he was torched for nine hits and six runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 14. Last week’s matchup was the first time he faced San Francisco.
The Giants not only have lost Pederson since last weekend, but they had to place Brandon Belt on the COVID-19 injured list prior to the start of Friday’s game.
Five Giants, including key reliever Dominic Leone, have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to request that all players wear masks. He also closed the Giants’ clubhouse to the media through the weekend.
“We have concerns about the level of contagiousness in our clubhouse given a string of recent positives,” Zaidi said. “We are taking measures to try to mitigate risk of further spread both internally and externally.”
Belt had a triple off Adon last Sunday.
–Field Level Media