Webb, Bailey make in-game adjustments in Giants’ loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — When you’re starting four rookies, as the Giants did again on Friday night, a 3-2 loss can come with silver linings.
Brett Wisely, who picked up center field on the fly in spring training, continued to show that he can be an above-average defender out there if the bat catches up. Casey Schmitt turned around a 97 mph fastball that was in on his hands, giving the Giants some life in a ninth inning that otherwise was filled with strikeouts. And then there was the nightly Patrick Bailey highlight, a laser to second to cut down Jorge Mateo, who ranks among the league leaders in stolen bases.
Bailey had another contribution, one that was more subtle but perhaps more important going forward. At some point in the middle innings, Logan Webb found that the battery was in such a rhythm and Bailey had such a good idea of what he wanted to do that he turned pitch-calling duties over to the rookie.
Like the rest of the staff, Webb has embraced the increase in Pitch Com, using it to call his own games from the mound. But he said Bailey called his final three innings Friday.
“I’ve told him before, all the catchers, like, if you see something I don’t see, you guys can call a pitch whenever you want,” Webb said. “All of a sudden it was turning into like every pitch and it was all the pitches I wanted to throw, so it made sense. There were a couple of times I shook him off but it was good. It was awesome.”
Bailey has a .850 OPS in a dozen games and has shown off a strong arm, but it’s his calm demeanor behind the plate that has really won over the starting staff.
Several Giants pitchers have said this season that if Buster Posey were still around, they might not have tried calling their own games as often. Perhaps Bailey will get to that point, as well.
“I think it’s getting to the point where he knows exactly what I’m trying to do,” Webb said. “We talk about it in between innings, we talk about it before the game. I think that’s what’s honestly cool about it. He can put it in, I can put it in. I can put it in and he can be shaking his head and put one in, and I can do the same to him. I think that’s pretty cool.
“He’s earning the trust of all our pitchers right now and I trust him 100 percent.”
Webb was happy with the change in plan, although it wasn’t completely smooth. In his final inning, he gave up a solo homer to Gunnar Henderson that ended up being the difference. Webb said afterwards that the Giants might have thrown Henderson one too many changeups.
“I just left it up,” he said. “Going back and looking at it, even the first two takes it seemed like he was sitting on it.”
— The first Giants run was Splash 100, and Gabe Kapler said the dugout enjoyed the moment. The Splash Hit was LaMonte Wade Jr.’s fifth as a Giant.
“He’s got a little ways to go to catch Barry,” Webb said, smiling.
— JD Davis took a 95 mph sinker off the left wrist in the eighth and was clenching his hand as he walked to first. The Orioles felt the ball hit the bat, but the challenge was unsuccessful. They might have been right, though.
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Davis was fine after the game and Kapler said he had no concerns. Asked what happened, he said the pitch pinched some of Davis’ skin near the wrist. On at least one replay, it certainly looked like it mostly hit the bat. It didn’t end up mattering, as Mike Yastrzemski followed with a double play.
— A runner that did matter quite a bit was one thrown out at the plate, but it wasn’t on third base coach Mark Hallberg. Wisely was on second in the third inning and got a late jump on the single to right. Kapler said Wisely lost track of where the second baseman was playing.
“Wisely didn’t get his best jump there,” he said.
— A lesson for the rest of this series: Don’t fall behind. The trio the Orioles threw out in the final three innings was as nasty as the Giants have seen this season, and right-handers Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista were particularly hard to hit in the final two innings.
“Those are big arms, some big, accurate arms with big stuff,” Kapler said. “It’s definitely a challenge as you get into the late innings.”
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