What we learned as Giants waste Webb's strong start in loss to Padres

What we learned as Giants waste Webb's strong start in loss to Padres originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN DIEGO -- Given the lack of support that Logan Webb received last season, the three runs the Giants scored before turning to their bullpen Thursday probably felt like 23 to the staff ace. But they weren't enough.

The Padres scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh and the Giants never threatened to make it a game from there, losing 6-4 on Opening Day at Petco Park.

The Giants scored twice in the top of the seventh to take the lead, but it didn't last long. Luke Jackson got the call in the bottom of the inning and ended up calling for a trainer after his 15th pitch, having appeared to injure one of his legs.

Before and after the injury, not much went right for the Giants.

With runners on the corners and no outs, Tyler Wade, the trail runner, took off for second. Patrick Bailey scooped a slider in the dirt and threw down to second, but it got away from Nick Ahmed. A run scored and Wade ended up on third. Ryan Walker took over for Jackson after the injury and gave up an RBI single to Xander Bogaerts and two-run double to Jake Cronenworth.

Michael Conforto hit a solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to cap a big second opener as a Giant, but it was too little, too late.

Cy Of Relief

Webb is long past the point where spring training starts matter other than just getting work in, but even with that in mind, it wasn't a fun March. He gave up 26 earned runs in 21 1/3 Cactus League innings, but Thursday was right in line with his big 2023 MLB season.

Webb threw 97 pitches in six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out five, four coming the first time through the order, when Webb was perfect.

The Padres finally got to Webb in the fifth, but he limited the damage after a walk and three straight singles to open the frame. Thairo Estrada and Patrick Bailey teamed up for an important out on a grounder to second, cutting a runner off at the plate.

Webb struggled with his changeup this spring, but his bread-and-butter pitch was there for him whenever he needed it Thursday. He threw 42 of them, and the horizontal movement was up a bit from 2023 on both that pitch and his two-seamer.

Offseason Additions

Jung Hoo Lee had to wait until the third at-bat of his highly-anticipated debut to reach base. He lined a 95 mph fastball from Yu Darvish up the middle -- and then promptly got picked off as the ball was being dropped into the dugout for safekeeping.

Lee was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and his first MLB RBI. He struck out the first time up and then lined out to third before picking up his single.

Matt Chapman was 1-for-4 with a single and made a couple of difficult plays at third look very easy. Jorge Soler walked in his third plate appearance but went hitless otherwise.

In The Nick Of Time

For the first time since Miguel Tejada in 2011, someone other than Brandon Crawford started at shortstop for the Giants on Opening Day. Ahmed won the job over Marco Luciano this spring, and he certainly doesn't look like he wants to give it back.

Ahmed got the Giants on the board in the third inning, getting on top of an elevated pitch for a double that brought Michael Conforto home.

In the seventh, he came up with two in scoring position and lined a single past shortstop Ha-Seong Kim to tie the game.

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