Understand the rapid rise of the Web ahead of the Giants vs. Dodgers Game 5

Given that the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers were separated by one game in the six-month season, it’s not surprising that the playoff series between them drops to Winner-Take AllGame 5.

A little more surprising is the man climbing the hill for his home team. A former fourth-round player, Career ERA entered 2021 with 5.36, recording the 77th best K / BB ratio for 81 pitchers who threw more than 50. Last season’s innings.

For those who haven’t looked closely at NL West all year long, LoganWebb may seem like an unlikely hero. actual, Just like Jesse Plemons I have posted a 4.1 WAR that matches Lance Lynn and José Berríos and have been trading throughout the season.

When he dismantled the Dodgers in Game 1 into a 7.2 inning song with 10 strikeouts and a scoreless ball without walking, he made the wider baseball world aware of his presence. Powerful Game 5 has the potential to solidify him as the Giants’ common name and playoff hero.

To understand one of the main characters in NLDS, you need to answer three questions:

1. How did Webb become the best starting pitcher for a 107-win team?

2. What did he do to the Dodgers in Game 1?

3. How will Los Angeles counter punch in Game 5?

Web soaring

It’s easy to guess that his 24-year-old isn’t special, as he doesn’t throw particularly hard (his 4-seamer average speed of 93.1 mph), but it’s not.

Webb has an extraordinary sinker with vertical movement that is 8.6 inches above average. This is the top pitcher who has thrown more than 200 sinkers this season. The pitch falls off the surface of the earth and looks like a breaking ball. This can be a nightmare to hit.

Not only is it good for occasional whims, but the enemy always hits it on the ground. Webb’s sinker provokes an average firing angle of -5 degrees, with his extraordinary ground ball rate of 60.9 percent (second in over 100 pitchers thrown in 2021) and 0.55 HR / 9 (same sample). 4th) will be promoted.

It’s the Webb slider that plays that pitch, with above-average movement in the vertical (+ 6%) and horizontal (+ 10%) directions, creating a robust 47.1 whif rate. For reference, Cy Young candidate Robbie Ray’s infamous slider had a whiff rate of 45.8 this year.

Emphasizing these two pitches is especially important as Webb completely revamped its approach to emphasizing them in 2021. This is how his pitch usage changed from 2019 to 2021.

Much has happened in the image, but before 2021, the web relied primarily on four-seam fastballs and change-ups, but this year it has become a sinker slider pitcher.

Not only does it focus on his best pitch sinker, it’s also an intuitive upgrade to Webb, but it also helps unlock the sliders. In contrast to trying to handle it with a 4-seam fastball at the top of the zone, he tunnels it with a sinker and it’s hard to tell if the batter’s incoming pitch is an armed fastball. You can create decision points. A side break or a fastball towards the glove side.

That relationship between his two major pitches is at the core of Webb’s ability to generate soft contacts, avoid bats, and produce impressive numbers.

Game 1 jewel

Webb defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers with his hind legs in Game 1 with a surprising element. Los Angeles was expected to be attacked primarily with the sinker slider combo above, but the young right-handed Buster Posey instead puzzled them with a change-up barrage.

The 24-year-old has a 41.3% chance of making a change-up. This is the third highest rate of 46 MLB starts, almost double the overall season average (23.6%). The Dodgers lineup included six right-handed batters, and the attack plan was particularly unusual as Webb began throwing change-ups to the right-handed with only 14.9% of the clips.

The right-to-right change-up is a controversial weapon, but Webb has a 33.3% chance of using it against the Dodgers, which has been very effective. He struck out on a one-third pitch (5) of the 148.1 innings of the regular season (15). This caused the Dodgers to constantly strike out at the bottom of the zone.

Beyond his bright red change-up, the Web prospered by staying ahead all night. The right-handed player recorded a strike rate of 71.8% and threw only one pitch with a three-ball count. This is a nasty 3-2 slider that has defeated AJ Pollock. It kept the web’s pitch count low and allowed him to work deeper into the game.

When you bring in an unprepared approach to your opponent and spot it all night, it’s a sure recipe for success. This is exactly what Webb found in Game 1.

How does the Dodgers counter the Web?

There is no silver bullet to beat Webb. If so, he wouldn’t have posted 3.03 ERA and 2.72 FIP this year.

However, there are some things clubs can do to avoid being the victim of Webb tricks. The first is to prepare for a change-up in case Webb adopts the idea of ​​”if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The pitch is good, but if the batter is keying it, it can be vulnerable. Four of the five Dodgers-controlled hits over 100 mph in Game 1 have been removed from the change. If Webb seems to be picking it up again, especially if right-handed people miss it in the zone, Los Angeles has a chance to take advantage of its capital.

Another broader tactic that can compete with Webb is to adopt a superpatient approach. The pitcher’s stuff creates more whiffs outside the zone than inside the zone, especially for Webb. Of the 129 pitchers who threw more than 100 innings in 2021, the out-of-zone whiff rate of 46% was 14th and the in-zone whiff rate of 12% was 104th. Keeping the bat off the shoulder against the Giants’ right-handed person is not an easy task, but he provokes a tracking rate of the 91st percentile.

If the Dodgers get traffic at the base, the Dodgers can attempt several thefts. Webb’s elite ground ball rate not only made him a double play machine, but in 10 of the 11 attempts in 2021, enemy runners succeeded against him. This is a small sample, but it might be worth considering if a guy like Mookie Betts or Trea Turner makes it.

Understand the rapid rise of the Web ahead of the Giants vs. Dodgers Game 5

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