Logan Webb is through seven innings, but there is no chance he comes out for an eighth. The right-hander is up to 106 pitches and the Giants had activity in their bullpen throughout the seventh. That being said, Webb was once again dominant and if that was it, he is now at 14⅔ innings for his postseason career and has allowed only one run.
In the seventh, Justin Turner led off and lined out to second on a nice play by Donovan Solano, who hung onto the ball while going down to one knee. Gavin Lux also hit the ball sharply, but straight at Wilmer Flores, who fielded it cleanly and touched first for the second out. That left Cody Bellinger, who struck out swinging on the eighth pitch he saw.
Webb has allowed four hits over his seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.
Terrific work by Webb and Posey against Bellinger, who was fighting off pitch after pitch in an extended at-bat. Webb did not throw a slider until the eighth pitch, and it was a perfect one, dipping down after about 60 feet, 8.5 inches, just in front of Bellinger’s swing on strike three to end the inning.
It did not take long for the Giants to answer the Dodgers’ score in the top half of the inning.
Darin Ruf had been close on a few long outs earlier in the game, and after Julio Urias repeatedly challenged him with fastballs, Ruf made him pay for one by crushing it over the fence in center field to tie the game, 1-1.
Buster Posey got caught looking at a terrific curveball for strike three, and Brandon Crawford flied out to right on the first pitch he saw. With two outs, Kris Bryant singled on a liner that shot between Justin Turner and Corey Seager and into left field, resulting in a trip to the mound from pitching coach Mark Prior, and then Urias retired Austin Slater on a grounder to short.
Darin Ruf had two long outs on well-hit balls prior to his home run, which was 110 m.p.h. off the bat.
Darin Ruf ties the game, 1-1, with a mammoth blast.
Leading off the bottom half of the inning, Ruf crushed a Julio Urias fastball over the wall in center.
Logan Webb is human. At least, sorta.
Julio Urias made Webb work a little, getting to a sixth pitch before grounding out on a comebacker (Webb tagged the runner out instead of throwing to first this time). That brought up Mookie Betts, the only guy who seems to have Webb’s number today, who collected his third hit with a single to left.
Betts stole second and that proved crucial as he scored easily on a Corey Seager double to left, the first postseason run Webb has allowed in 13 innings of work.
Webb immediately settled down to strike out the struggling Trea Turner and then got out of the inning when Will Smith flied out to left. But the Giants are trailing at home.
Reporting from Oracle Park
With his one-out single in the sixth that set up the first run of this game, Mookie Betts now is 5 for 7 against Giants starter Logan Webb over two division series games. Through the end of the sixth inning, the rest of the Dodgers were 3 for 46 against Webb over those same two games.
Mookie Betts stole only 10 bases in the regular season (and was caught five times), but that one really paid off.
Seager’s double makes it 1-0 Dodgers.
Mookie Betts singled and stole second, scoring easily on Corey Seager’s drive to left.
Julio Urias missed an immaculate inning by one pitch.
He needed four pitches to ring up Evan Longoria for a called strikeout. It was his most difficult matchup of the inning. He needed just three pitches to strike out Logan Webb and another three for Donovan Solano. A ball to Longoria kept Urias from the immaculate inning, three strikeouts on nine pitches.
We have ended up with a classic ace-vs.-ace matchup — it just took a few innings to get started.
Logan Webb continues to keep things very quiet.
Gavin Lux ultimately didn’t have anything to show for it, but he managed to make Webb throw him eight pitches before striking out looking on a vicious sinker. Cody Bellinger grounded out on a soft comebacker to Webb (the third 1-3 putout in a span of four outs) and after Chris Taylor raised the collective blood pressure in Oracle Park with a towering foul ball to left, Webb struck him out to end the inning.
Webb’s pitch count is at a relatively modest 72 through five scoreless innings and he has struck out five batters.
Many Dodgers season ticket holders are watching the game at the new Gold Glove Bar underneath the left field bleacher pavilion at Dodger Stadium. They are as nervous as everyone else.
Julio Urias made things slightly interesting, having some pitches get away from him and allowing a runner to reach third base. But no actual damage was done.
With the infield shifted to his pull side, the lefty leadoff hitter Brandon Crawford slapped a ball to the left side of the infield that got past third baseman Justin Turner (who was playing closer to shortstop) for a single. Kris Bryant thought he’d drawn a walk on a curveball that ended up being called a strike, and then he swung and missed at another curveball for strike three.
Austin Slater came in as a pinch-hitter for Mike Yastrzemski, meaning Yastrzemski will officially have been hitless for the entire series (0 for 13), and while Slater was at the plate, a wild pitch got away from Will Smith behind the plate, allowing Crawford to advance to second. Slater ended up grounding out to second, which sent Crawford to third. And that’s where the Giants left him, as Wilmer Flores popped out to second to end the inning.
The Dubs are in the house, namely Steve Kerr, Draymond Green and Steph Curry.
Wilmer Flores made a nice play to catch Webb’s lob for the final out at first base in the top of the fourth, and kept his foot on the bag. Flores did not play first base until his third year with the Mets in 2016, but five years later his time at the four infield positions facing home have been fairly evenly distributed, with between 1,313 innings at shortstop on the low end, and 1,547 innings at second base at the high end. He has played 1,326 at first.
The Dodgers should look into making the whole team out of Mookie Betts. He is the only one who seems to know what to do against Logan Webb.
Betts got his second hit of the game, a single hit sharply to left, and he advanced to second on a glorified bunt groundout by Corey Seager. Trea Turner grounded out again — at least it wasn’t a double-play this time — and Will Smith walked. That brought up Justin Turner, but the struggling Dodgers third baseman couldn’t do anything with the runners on base, grounding out softly back to Webb.
And in the third inning we finally got the pitching matchup we’d been expecting, with Julio Urias coming on in relief of Brusdar Graterol, who had replaced Corey Knebel. Call it gamesmanship, call it risky, call it anything you’d like, but the game is tied after three innings and while Los Angeles has already used two relievers, Urias is in the game and fresh, with a solid chance of pitching into the late innings.
Urias dispatched pinch-hitter Donovan Solano and outfielder Darin Ruff on routine fly balls to center (well, as routine as plays can be when Gavin Lux, an infielder, is playing center) and then he got Buster Posey to fly out to right to end the inning. The three outs took Urias eight pitches.
Logan Webb needed 12 pitches to throw another perfect inning, collecting two more strikeouts along the way.
Cody Bellinger struck out on three pitches, staring at a 94-m.p.h. sinker for a called strike three. Chris Taylor lined out to left. And that brought up pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. who struck out on four pitches, failing to check his swing on an 83-m.p.h. slider.
As most expected, Corey Knebel was out after just one inning in his “start” and was replaced to start the second inning by Brusdar Graterol. The big right-hander with the even bigger fastball got into a battle with Kris Bryant that ended up with Bryant shattering his bat for an infield single that Justin Turner fielded at third as part of Bryant’s bat flew past him.
The ice-cold Mike Yastrzemski, who is hitless for the entire series, popped out to the catcher in foul territory, but Wilmer Flores followed by fighting his way through a seven-pitch at-bat (five of them were 101 miles per hour or faster) to single on a liner to left.
With two men on and only one out, the Giants fizzled. Evan Longoria popped out in foul territory to first base and then pitcher Logan Webb ended things quietly by striking out on three pitches. Julio Urias, the original starter for this game, was shown warming up in the bullpen and will presumably be out for the bottom of the third inning.
This is what happens when a 100 MPH Brusdar Graterol sinker meets the handle of a bat at full force. The broken bat head sailed about 100 feet.
— Positive Residual (@presidual)
Logan Webb does not give you a lot to write about. That’s how the Giants like it.
A groundout to second (Will Smith). A groundout to shortstop (Justin Turner). A four-pitch strikeout where he caught the batter looking (Gavin Lux). End of inning.
Really good pitch calling by the Dodgers’ Will Smith behind the plate in the first inning. Corey Knebel was clearly amped up and was over-throwing his curveball, especially to Brandon Crawford. But Smith kept calling for it until Knebel gradually harnessed it. He ended up striking out Crawford with a particularly nasty one, and hopped off the mound.
It is impossible to say how long Dodgers pitcher Corey Knebel will be in this game, but he acquitted himself quite well, working around a double to pitch a scoreless inning.
Knebel started off by getting Tommy La Stella to fly out harmlessly to right. Darin Ruf followed La Stella by hitting the ball considerably harder, but having it end up in Mookie Betts’s glove just the same.
Catcher Buster Posey was the third straight batter to hit the ball to right, but his had enough mustard on it to ricochet off the wall, allowing him to walk into second for a double (trying for third off Betts’s cannon of an arm would have been … unwise). That brought up Brandon Crawford, who struck out on seven pitches to end the threat.
The Dodgers got a leadoff hit against Logan Webb but ended up with nothing to show for it.
After Webb fell behind in the count, 3-1, to Mookie Betts, the Dodgers’ leadoff batter singled sharply to left. With the infield shifted for the left-handed Corey Seager to pull, he hit the ball the opposite way, but it was hit in the air and Darin Ruf caught it easily for the first out of the inning. Then Trea Turner did Webb a huge favor, grounding into an inning-ending 4-3 double play.
Game 5 is officially underway with Logan Webb of the Giants delivering a 94-mile-per-hour sinker to Mookie Betts for ball one.
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts confirmed in a on-field interview that left-hander Julio Urias will enter the game at some point and that the switch in starting pitcher was intended to combat the Giants’ ability to stack the lineup.
It is all hands on deck in San Francisco with Barry Bonds in the house to support the Giants.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers’ late decision to use reliever Corey Knebel as an opener, and the status of Giants second baseman Tommy La Stella’s tender Achilles tendon, caused San Francisco to delay finalizing a lineup until 90 minutes before Game 5.
The upshot: La Stella’s ankle tested fine during batting practice so he is leading off and playing second base. The Giants had planned to start the right-handed Donovan Solano at second base against the lefty Julio Urias. Instead, Solano likely will appear later. They kept right-hander Darin Ruf in the lineup batting second and playing left field and sprinkled three lefty bats throughout: La Stella, Brandon Crawford (hitting fourth and playing shortstop) and Mike Yastrzemski (sixth and playing right field).
When Urias started Game 2, the Giants stacked their lineup with right-handers against him. Crawford was the only lefty to start, and he batted sixth. The first five hitters against Urias that day were all right-handed: Ruf, Kris Bryant, Austin Slater, Buster Posey and Wilmer Flores.
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts sent a courtesy text to San Francisco Manager Gabe Kapler on Wednesday evening informing of the decision to start Knebel instead of Urias.
“It’s understandable,” Kapler said of the Dodgers’ late pitching decision. “I don’t think it was unexpected. It certainly changes the way we were thinking about today’s game, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
SAN FRANCISCO — The Dodgers’ other lineup change, the one not involving an opener and erstwhile starter Julio Urias, was telegraphed by Manager Dave Roberts after Game 4 and could be a game-changer.
Gavin Lux, a 23-year-old rookie, is batting sixth and starting in center field. He reached base in all four plate appearances in Game 4 (two singles, two walks, one run scored). It was Lux’s first start following pinch-hit appearances each of the first three games.
Two notable items:
When the Giants’ rookie right-hander Logan Webb dominated the Dodgers in Game 1, Lux tapped a bouncer back to Webb during a pinch-hitting appearance in the eighth inning. For his career, Lux is 1 for 5 with a double and a strikeout against Webb, who will start Thursday.
The Dodgers’ 1-0 Game 3 loss in windy Dodger Stadium ended with Lux smashing a fly ball into left field that both teams thought was going over the fence. Lux scorched the ball at 106.9 miles per hour and the game seemed to be headed for extra innings.
Lux couldn’t believe the wind got him that dramatically, either, and his reaction boomeranged around social media overnight.
“Scrolling through Twitter, there’s a lot of memes going around,” Lux said. “And I feel like everybody makes a meme of me anyways as it is because of all the facial reactions I have. But that’s just how I am.”
Tonight, Lux will be in the field instead of on the bench.
“I just love the heartbeat, the composure,” Roberts said after Game 4. “Just watching him take at-bats, it’s like a guy that’s played in the postseason much more than he has.” Roberts added that how Lux conducted himself in that setting “is very telling.”