The San Francisco Giants celebrate their 2021 Western Division Championship clinch at Oracle Park in San Francisco vs. the visiting San Diego Padres on Sun Oct 3, 2021 (AP News photo)
San Diego 4 – 7 – 0
San Francisco 11- 10-0
By Lewis Rubman
October Sunday, October 3
SAN FRANCISCO–It’s over. The Giants are the champions of the National League’s Western Division. They trounced the Padres 11-4 behind the brilliant pitching and hitting (yes, hitting!) of Logan Webb. There will be no tie-breaker tomorrow. The Giants won’t have to face the Cardinals in a wild card game, and they will have the home field advantage for as long as they last in the postseason..
This afternoon’s game against San Diego opened auspiciously for the Giants. It took Webb, who brought a record of 10-3, 2.93 with him to the mound, a mere 14 pitches to strike out Trent Grisham, Fernando Tatís, Jr., and Manny Machado. He pitched two more innings without allowing a base runner.
Webb’s counterpart for the Padres, rookie Reiss Knehr (1-1, 4.85 at game time) pitched well, but not as commandingly as Webb, for two innings but ran into trouble in the third. With one man out, he gave up an improbable single to Webb, who advanced to second on a wild pitch to Tommy Lastella, whose subsequent fly to center resulted in the second out of the frame.
Wilmer Flores singled to center, sending Webb to third, and advanced to second on Grisham’s throw. A walk to LaMonte Wade, Jr., loaded the bases with Giants. Buster Posey’s single to left drove in Webb and Flores. Only an impressive diving catch of Brandon Crawford’s sinking line drive to right center prevented San Francisco from opening up a bigger lead.
The Padres countered with a lead off double by Grisham. He held his ground at second while Longoria threw Tatís out at first and then broke for third and made it safely. Maldonado plated him with a sacrifice fly to center that brought the Pads to within a run of the Giants.
Dinelson Lamet took over for Knehr in the bottom of the fourth. The Padres’ starter had given up two runs, both earned, on three hits, two walks, and a wild pitch in three innings, during which he threw 45 pitches, 28 for strikes. Lamet walked the first two batters he faced, Bryant and Yastrzemski, but got Longoria on a called third strike .
The brought Webb to the plate. After showing bunt on Lamet’s first delivery and almost getting hit by a pitch that bounced off his bat into foul territory, San Francisco’s new found offensive threat walked on a full count to clog the base paths. They stayed clogged after Lastella’s RBI single to right, each runner moving up a station.
That was it for Lamet, who threw 30 pitches in a third of an inning, gave up on run and one hit, and was responsible for the three men who were on base when Craig Stammen relieved him. Two of them scored on Wilmer Flores’s double to left put San Francisco up, 5-1. The third score sac fly to left that advanced Flores to third with two out.
Buster Posey quickly brought him home with a single to center. When the ninth Giant batter of the inning, Brandon Crawford, struck out swinging, the scoreboard read San Diego 1, San Francisco 7.
San Diego crept towards a comeback in the fifth. Adam Frazier sliced a one out double to left. Jake Marisnick took an 81 mph slider in the ribs. Webb then retired Rivas on a fly to right and struck out a pinch hitting Tommy Pham
Nabil Crismatt pitched the fifth frame for the Padres. He got through his first three batters, yielding only a walk to the first, Bryant. But he didn’t reckon with Wonder Worker Webb, who blasted. Crismatt’s second pitch, an 83 mph change up, 368 feet into the left field bleachers. Need I say that this was his maiden round trip voyage?
The orange and black continued to pile it on. They opened the seventh, still facing Crismatt, with back to back singles by Crawford and Bryant, both of whom Yastrzemski brought home with a ringing double to center, fluffing up the Giants cushion to 11-1. After Longoria struck out, Logan received a standing ovation and then struck out, his only unsuccessful plate appearance of the day.
It was clear in the top of the eighth that Webb was tired. He yielded consecutive singles to Marisnik, Rivas, and pinch hitter Victor Caratini that producd San Diego’s second tally. That was it for Webb on the mound, and Kervin Castro took over. He allowed an RBI single to Grisham, scoring Rivas. Profar struck out, but Ha-Seong KIm and Cronenworth drove in Caratini with a sinking sacrifce fly to left.
After Castro walked Myers, Jarlín García relieved him. Webb had thrown 88 pitches, 63 for strikes. He was charged with four runs, but two of them crossed the plate while Castro was on the mound. Webb struck out eight Padres and didn’t walk anyone. Castro gave up two walks and a hit in his ineffective two-thirds of an inning on the mound.
James Norwood set the Giants down in order in the eighth, setting the stage for Dominic Leone to come in to close the Pads down in their last half inning.
To chants of “Beat LA,” Leone got Marisnick to ground out to Crawford. Then he struck Rivas out swinging. All that stood between the Giants and undisputed possession of first place was the pinch hitting Eric Hosmer. He went down swinging.
It was Logan’s day, and he got the win. The loss went to Knehr.
On Friday, the winner of the NL wild card game between Los Angeles and St. Louis will come to Oracle Park to face the NL West Champion San Francisco Giants in the first game of the NLDS.