The announcement that Logan Webb would start for the Giants on Saturday came at 7:30 in the morning, about five and a half hours from first pitch. The lineup was released in a very 2020 way, with Gabe Kapler listing it out on a Zoom call that started about 90 minutes before first pitch.
Earlier in the morning, Dave Roberts indicated he certainly has noticed how late the Giants have been informing the Dodgers and the public of their decisions. That is not how baseball traditionally has worked.
"It's a little bit of gamesmanship, we'll call it," Roberts told Dodgers writers. "To each, their own."
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The method has not worked through two games. The Giants have been outscored 17-2 while losing twice, and there might be more discomfort in their own clubhouse than the other one. Kevin Gausman, signed as a starter, came out of the bullpen Friday for four innings. A day later he said it's not exactly something he hoped to be doing.
"I feel like I'm kind of more of an old-school mentality where I think that there should be starters and there should be relievers," Gausman said on a Zoom call. "I think the whole opener thing kind of just gets a little tricky and kind of complicates things more than it needs to be. I have no problem doing it, I think it'll be something we would do every once in a while against a team like this."
Gausman said he was told early in camp that this was a possibility, because pitchers wouldn't be built up and the Dodgers are loaded with good lefty bats like Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Corey Seager. Lefty Tyler Anderson started Friday instead.
The problem is that Roberts has such a stacked deck that he's responded to the subterfuge by making tiny adjustments that wipe away any platoon advantage. On Friday, when Anderson was the surprise starter, the Dodgers went Betts (right-handed), Muncy (lefty), Turner (R), Bellinger (L) at the top of their lineup. With the right-handed Webb going Saturday, it's Muncy, Betts, Bellinger, Turner.
It makes you wonder why the Giants are going through all of this when the Dodgers don't have pockets of left-handed or right-handed hitters anyway.
"It's not necessarily the type of lineup that's going to change dramatically based on the starter," Kapler said. "I think there's one advantage sometimes, which is having a guy like (Anderson) go through the lineup almost one time and then letting a guy like Gaus start at the bottom of the lineup so he can go through the lineup a couple of times and maybe even get through a portion of the lineup a third time. That's one way to look at it.
"I'm not saying that anyone in isolation is the perfect strategy, but again, we are looking at it from every angle."
In a way, this is a no-win situation. The Giants figured they would be overwhelmed by the Dodgers in a normal series. They have tried to get creative and they've been ... overwhelmed.
Things should get more back to normal soon. Gausman indicated there would be a regular rotation, and Kapler, asked about missing No. 2 starter Jeff Samardzija, said there's a good plan there and that Samardzija would start a game soon. He said he spoke to Anderson after Friday's game and will meet with Gausman about his comfort level.
"We want pitchers and players to express themselves," Kapler said. "It doesn't come as a surprise to me that Gausman would prefer to start games and I support that. I support that ambition, and many times this season Gausman will be handed the ball and he will start games and we'll take him deep into games, and I think he's going to be satisfied by that."