The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled to solve Logan Webb in last season’s NLDS — but not enough to ultimately lose the series, of course. The two parties have yet to lock horns in 2022, and this weekend’s three-game set in San Francisco seemed like a perfect opportunity for the reunion.
Sadly, Giants manager Gabe Kapler doesn’t see things that way, and coming off a relatively difficult start for the young sinker specialist, he opted for a bullpen game this weekend rather than the well-lined-up chance for a Webb gem.
Of course, though Webb hasn’t faced the Dodgers yet in 2022, he’s certainly faced off with their fans. Emotions ran high for the right-hander after a particularly boisterous Giants win over the Mets several weeks ago, leading to a DM spat with a Dodger fan, who reminded the pitcher of his previous steroid suspension. The chat did not go well, though it’s also difficult to be sure what Webb’s ultimate goal was.
Since that moment, the righty’s 2022 season has gone downhill, and even though it’s difficult to know exactly why Kapler opted out of a well-timed opportunity to get him on the right track at home against his rival, Webb started Thursday against the Rockies instead.
Of course, it would be prudent to mention that Webb and Kapler have had it out in the public forum of the press recently, too. After a call to the ‘pen resulted in a loss on Webb’s ledger against the Marlins, the starter made it clear he wasn’t ready to endorse the quick hook.
Dodgers miss Logan Webb thanks to Gabe Kapler’s cowardice
Was skipping Webb in the Dodgers series the next step of this public feud? Was Kapler again being too protective of his starter after watching him bristle in Miami?
Regardless of the intent, the decision to let Webb face Colorado instead didn’t exactly turn out as planned. The 25-year-old allowed seven hits and three runs (two earned) to take the loss at home, “lowering” his ERA to a roughly-average 3.77 mark.
Prior to leaking the move, Kapler emphasized the importance of winning Thursday to seize momentum headed into the crucial home set, claiming Webb would give them the best chance of doing so:
"“We want to win today’s game and we want to win the games against the Dodgers, and we feel like we have good plans in place with good starting pitchers, quality starting pitchers, to be good against the Dodgers as well,” Kapler said."
Webb didn’t win that contest. Now, the team will go shorthanded into a home series against the best of the west, and their star righty will enter the set already fuming. Maybe next time, just let the chips fall where they may instead of manipulating a hothead out of the rivalry.