SAN FRANCISCO -- When Buster Posey reached out and poked a slider to second base in the 11th inning late Friday night, Logan Webb started to pull his sweatshirt over his head. Webb had already put his spikes on and procured Kris Bryant's outfield glove, and he was starting to get pretty fired up about playing left field in the 12th inning.
The plan had been in action for a few innings, but it came to a screeching halt when Trea Turner's throw to first pulled Will Smith off the bag. Webb instead went into celebration mode, as the Giants won 3-2.
"All of a sudden I heard the crowd going crazy," he said Saturday. "But I was ready to go. My heart started beating a little quicker. Thankfully the game ended, because you just know the ball would have found me."
The error kept both sides from going on without any safety net. Dave Roberts had used his entire bullpen, 11 pitchers in all. Gabe Kapler had burned his final position player, Curt Casali, an inning before the game-winner. A batter before Posey's grounder, Alex Dickerson injured his right hamstring to the point that he would go on the Injured List a day later (Mauricio Dubon was recalled), and that got the wheels churning in the dugout.
Kapler needed a pitcher to play left field for Dickerson, and he actually had two who were ready: his two best starters. Webb and Kevin Gausman regularly take a few swings and practice some bunts during games, just in case they're ever needed, and both were enthusiastic about getting into Friday's wild game.
Like Webb, Gausman had his spikes on. He might shag more fly balls than any non-outfielder on the roster, and he joked that Kapler hurt his feelings by choosing Webb.
"I was looking for (Kapler)," Gausman said, smiling. "He wouldn't make eye contact with me, so I knew it wasn't me."
Kapler chose Webb in part because of his high school background. Webb was a pretty good prep quarterback, but Gausman pointed out that he has a backstory, too. He was a second-team All-State basketball player as a high schooler in Colorado.
Webb was a pitcher and outfielder at Rocklin High, but he hasn't played on the grass since he was a teenager. Still, it's best to be on your toes during a game like Friday night's, and when Casali was used, Kapler's two best starters got the necessary gear on. They then watched as Walker Buehler came in as a pinch-runner and scored the go-ahead run. Both were ready, but luckily for the Giants, neither was needed.
"We were up there and I just knew we were running out of position players," Gausman said. "They pinch-ran and I was like, hey, it's a possibility. Better to be prepared than not."