Despite a 65-pitch, six-inning gem from Logan Webb, the Los Angeles Dodgers still had a clear and present chance to get back into Game 1 of the NLDS in the seventh inning.
That’s when Webb surrendered a rocket double into the left-field corner off the bat of Will Smith, putting the San Francisco Giants‘ hurler in a precarious position for the first time in…well, hourse.
Since the backflip double play up the middle turned by Brandon Crawford and Tommy La Stella? Before that? This game had felt effectively stress-less for Webb, and the pitch count and dry brow proved it.
Suddenly, Smith was on second. The whole calculus changed. He had a challenge ahead of him in the form of the Dodgers’ first baseman, All-Star slugger Max Munc–oh, wait. Never mind.
It was fill-in Matt Beaty, followed by the unimpressive 2021 edition of former MVP Cody Bellinger. Needless to say, the rally was snuffed out swiftly.
Giants righty Logan Webb fought through Dodgers’ Matt Beaty and Cody Bellinger to flip the game.
You won’t believe this, but as soon as Webb got through these two snooze-worthy “sluggers,” Kris Bryant went yard for a much-needed insurance run off a tiring Walker Buehler in the bottom half, and that was that.
We all knew the long-term loss of Muncy would alter the Dodgers’ lineup irrevocably entering October, but we had no idea they’d be quite this feckless. Without their fearsome first baseman, who loves knocking balls into the ocean in this stadium, specifically, they opted for Beaty over Albert Pujols, and their fill-in swung over Webb’s patented breaker several times, bringing up Bellinger in the most crucial at-bat of the game.
As we all foretold, he swung over the same exact changeup three separate times. Webb didn’t even begin from a position of strength, per se. The first change was buried in the dirt, and Bellinger swung over it, sure, but he could go now lower. Belli had already seen his very best effort. Surely, he’d have to change his eye level somehow.
Nope. Same pitch, two more times. That got the job done.
Undoubtedly, a healthy Muncy would’ve given the Dodgers more of a chance to erase a two-run deficit in that crucial seventh inning. Similarly, a vintage Bellinger would’ve forced a bead of sweat from Webb’s forehead with two outs and a runner on.
Instead, Webb’s brow stayed entirely dry, and neither Dodgers batter gave him much of a fight.