ST. LOUIS — Logan Webb was clearly still seeking to rediscover his top-line form, but that didn’t matter Friday night against the Cardinals — for the Giants, or for his pitching line.
Webb issued more walks (3) than he generated swings-and-misses. He put four men on base via various free passes before surrendering a hit. But when it was over, 8-2, Webb walked away with his MLB-leading fifth win and the Giants with their sixth straight victory, their longest win streak of the season.
As catcher Curt Casali, who hit his first home run of the season Friday night, said earlier this week, “he’s giving us a chance to win every time he goes out there,” even if for the fifth straight start this wasn’t the same Webb that was so dominant to end last year.
A wild Webb who wasn’t missing bats could have been much worse than his six innings, three hits and one run. And the Giants still would have been just fine, after piling on five runs off Cardinals relievers in the eighth inning.
Before the five-run rally, Mike Yastrzemski was responsible for all three Giants runs.
Yastrzemski drove in two with a double in the third inning and scored the Giants’ first run of the game after reaching on one of two hit-by-pitches from Cardinals starter Jordan Hicks. The five-run eighth inning featured Evan Longoria’s first hit of the season, a two-RBI double into the right-center field gap, and a 402-foot shot by Casali to left-center.
San Francisco Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski watches his two-run double during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, May 13, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
The Giants scored the final eight runs of the game.
The Cardinals’ lone run off Webb came before they had generated a hit.
Webb held St. Louis hitless until shortstop Brendan Donovan led off the fifth inning with an infield single.
For a brief moment, Webb was threatening to throw a very strange no-hitter, allowing a run, three walks and a hit batter before surrendering a hit.
It was the first of the walks that came around to give the Cardinals a brief 1-0 lead.
Webb walked the Cardinals’ first batter of the game, second baseman Tommy Edman, and by the time their No. 2 hitter, Paul Goldschmidt, unleashed a swing, Edman had made it to third base. He stole second, took third on a wild pitch, then scored on a Goldschmidt dribbler to first base.
Even though Webb was once again not in top form, that was all the Cardinals could manage. With the one earned run over six innings, Webb lowered his ERA to 3.48.
Webb allowed the leadoff man to reach base in all but one of his six frames. He allowed runners in every inning but the fourth. But he made use of two double-play balls to erase the runners in two innings and pitched around the threats in every inning after the first, despite not possessing his swing-and-miss stuff.
Webb’s first strikeout of the game came on his 91st pitch, on the second batter of the sixth inning. When Nolan Arenado swung through the 2-2 changeup, that was just the second bat Webb missed on all of his pitches.
The Giants quickly answered the Cardinals’ run by manufacturing their own in the next half-inning.
The Cardinals’ scoring sequence went walk-steal-wild pitch-ground out. The Giants followed by going hit-by-pitch-ground out-wild pitch-single. Yastrzemski was the victim of the hit-by-pitch — at least spared the bruises of Hicks’ 100-mph heater with it coming on a slider — then scored on a base hit by Luis Gonzalez.
The next inning, Yastrzemski took matters into his own hands, whacking a 100-mph sinker the other way and just out of reach of the outstretched glove of Harrison Bader, falling to the warning track and bringing home LaMonte Wade Jr. and Brandon Belt.
The win marked San Francisco’s sixth in a row, its longest win streak of the season coming immediately on the heels of a five-game losing streak. The Giants had twice previously won five games in a row.
They’ll try to make it seven while going for the series win Saturday afternoon with Jakob Junis on the mound.