MILWAUKEE — Instead of their ace, Logan Webb, the Giants opted for a bullpen game Thursday in their first of four games with the Brewers.
Webb was lined up to start the series opener on regular rest but will instead get a couple extra days, setting up a pitcher’s duel with Milwaukee’s Cy Young winner, Corbin Burnes, on Saturday. Left-hander Scott Alexander got the nod Thursday, the second time in the past four games the Giants have used an opener.
Webb left his last start on Saturday with back tightness, but manager Gabe Kapler downplayed the significance of pushing back his next start.
“We just like to give a guy an extra day or two when we can,” Kapler said Wednesday. “We saw what it did for Alex Cobb. We want to repeat that from time to time, give guys an extra day and come out with their best stuff.”
It will be Webb’s second time this season pitching on six days’ rest, while Cobb has already done it twice, most recently on his last turn in the rotation, when struck out eight while allowing three earned runs over seven innings in a win over the Twins.
Webb threw 91 pitches over six innings before he was taken out as a precaution from Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins. He had thrown at least seven innings in his previous three starts before Saturday but felt some tightness while facing Garrett Cooper in the top of the sixth. He finished the at-bat and the inning by striking out Cooper with a slider but was replaced to start the seventh.
“I was fine to go back out there,” Webb said after the start. “I think they didn’t want to push me. I’lI be fine.”
Webb received scans on both his back and his side that showed “no structural damage,” Kapler said Monday. He threw from 90 feet on Tuesday with no issue.
Webb has not missed a start due to injury since returning from a shoulder strain in July 2021. Since that date, only the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara has logged more innings.
Left-hander Alex Wood will start Friday’s game, followed by Webb on Saturday and Cobb on Sunday.
Entering Alexander’s opener outing Thursday, the Giants are 2-1 this season when not using a traditional starter.