Giants Webb knew he was facing the best hitter in baseball in Judge

San Francisco Giants starter Logan Webb seen dealing in the bottom of the sixth inning on opening day. Webb knew that the New York Yankees had a potent line up going in including facing Yankee star Aaron Judge on Thu Mar 30, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

NEW YORK.—The San Francisco Giants suffered a 5-0 blowout loss to Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees on Opening Day.

San Francisco’s loss at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon was accentuated by Judge hitting the first home run of the 2023 season in the first inning. Judge re-signed a blockbuster nine-year, $360 million deal with the Yankees and was crowned the club’s captain after flirting with joining the Giants during free agency.

Giants right-hander Logan Webb threw a sinker and Judge hit the second pitch of his first at-bat to Monument Park, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

“I think he’s the best hitter in baseball,” said Webb, who had his second straight Opening Day start for the Giants. “Obviously, it would have been nice to have him, but he’s not (with the Giants). I wish I could have that pitch back.”

Judge said he was “just trying to make solid contact.”

“Especially with a guy like Logan, got that nasty sinker-changeup mix,” said Judge. “Lot of balls on the ground, lot of weak contact. Just trying to elevate a pitch and get it in the air best I could. I didn’t expect that to happen. Try to swing at strikes.”

Webb struck out 12 in six innings and set a franchise record for strikeouts on Opening Day. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Webb had “pitched about as good a game as he could have hoped and all of us could have hoped”.

“I thought he attacked the strike zone with all of his pitches. It was as efficient as we’ve seen him in a long time. A lot of swing-and-miss. Excellent outing by Logan,” said Kapler. “Really good swing by Judge on that fastball. The two homers beat us today.”

Yankees starter Gerrit Cole also set a franchise record – 11 strikeouts is the most any Yankee pitcher has ever had.

In the fourth inning, Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres hit a homer off Webb and Josh Donaldson also scored, bringing them up 3-0. In the seventh inning, Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu singled to the left and allowed Torres to score. Then Judge singled to center and Jose Trevino scored, extending the lead to 5-0.

The Giants last faced the Yankees at Oracle Park in 2019 and their first time at Yankee Stadium since 2016. Thursday’s match was a sellout.

It was the first time the Giants and Yankees have met on Opening Day. The three-game series continues with a 1:05 p.m. PT game on Saturday.

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