LOS ANGELES – With Anthony DeSklafani surviving all 1 2/3 innings, the San Francisco Giants outnumbered seven feeders and lost 7-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday.
Although manager Gabe Kapler blazed a trail up the hill and returned to his dugout with nearly all of his weapons going over to beat this game, his pumping staff should be well-tuned for Game 5 at Oracle Park on Thursday.
Why? Because Logan Webb will start the game on a do-or-die basis. Rested Kevin Gausman and even Alex Wood should also be available with dominant Camilo Doval rescued from a six strike shot in the Giants’ third game, which won 1-0 on Monday.
“Yes, that’s cute,” Kapler said. “Webb with a complete list. Gausmann with full slate. Alex Wood is out of the question at some point in the game. We have everything to spare and are ready to serve. ”
Good serve has fueled two of the Giants’ wins in the series so far – both shutouts, one behind Webb in the first game of the series. In the first game, Webb’s confidence shone as he made more changes than usual to get the powerful Dodgers squad to crack the air. He landed 21 shots that day and missed and did not play a single batter with a team known to work with bats. He struck out 10 hitters, gave up five hits in 92 assists in 7 2/3 innings.
At 24, Webb will become the youngest winner-take-all pitcher in the history of the Giants franchise. Webb is not only their last hope, but also their best.
“You can rely on a track record of the past four months,” Kapler said. “It’s a long time, he has a lot of starts, and it starts, and he had starts in huge games. This is a completely rested and prepared, confident reliever. ”
Catcher Buster Posey has caught his fair share of innings in postseason do-or-die moments – including five scoreless Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. He knows how to balance under pressure, and has seen it with Webb during his spring training sessions for Games 162 and 1 NLDS.
“I think his confidence continues to grow,” Posey said. “I think things have gotten better because he believes he has elite pitches and can compete with anyone. And I think this is a question … and he showed in the last game of the season and the first game of this series that he can keep his composure, and that bodes well for him. ”
Going head to head on the Dodgers’ side with Webb will be left-handed reliever Julio Urias, dominating the Giants this season with a 3.38 ERA against San Francisco, excluding his start of Game 2, in which he allowed one run on three hits for more than five innings. …
“It’s like any other pitcher,” Posey said. “You’re going to face a major league pitcher, so you’re hoping he makes a mistake and gets a kick. Want to cut edge transfers. He is a great competitor and we are all ready to take on the challenge. ”
While Urias will pose a challenge for the offense, which has racked up seven times in four games, the Giants are determined to continue to keep games close. Kapler expects to be a fully rested and fully accessible bullpen.
“I think we’ll be in really good shape with our bullpen,” Kapler said. “I expect everyone to be ready to serve.”
After a peak season with 29 innings on Monday, Tyler Rogers was one of seven in the Giants bullpen but threw just seven innings to amass two outs on Tuesday.
Zach Littel should also be in the game after two innings, a scoreless match with four strikeouts on Tuesday. Kapler said Littel could have come out and made a few more outs, but they wanted to keep him after 35 pitches were thrown.
“Obviously, how good he was would be good if he was available,” Kapler said.
Doval was one of the few not to have seen gameplay going outside the bullpen for Game 4, and for good reason; he played two innings in Game 3, which not only set some rookie records, but also made him one of the most undefeated players in the Giants bullpen.
Left-hander feeding Jake McGee dropped a two-run home run in favor of Will Smith in the eighth inning, but threw just nine assists after coming out with five innings in the third game.
Other bullpen weapons used on Tuesday included Jose Alvarez, who threw three assists to get one after DeSclafani left, and Kervin Castro, who dropped two walks and received one of 12 passes. Jarlin Garcia and Dominic Leone each turned in the inning, Garcia gave up two runs on Muki Betts’ home run, and Leone on one.
The day off on Wednesday is a day of recuperation for everyone. With a scuffle offensive with Urias and some of the Dodgers’ high-velocity bullpen guns, Game 5 could have boiled down to Webb and a fully-stocked bullpen.