SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had five rookies in the starting lineup on Wednesday night, and there wasn't any more experience coming out of the bullpen. Four of the six relievers to follow right-hander Logan Webb were rookies, continuing a late-season trend.
Trades and injuries have blown up the bullpen, so the Giants are taking a look at guys who might be part of the next wave. The same goes for the rotation, where the 22-year-old Webb is getting an extended tryout.
Relying on youth can get ugly at times. Webb had a rough one and the Giants lost 6-3 to a Pirates team that has been one of the worst in the National League. The Giants have lost seven of their 11 September games, but the evaluation will go on. Here's a breakdown of the five rookies to take the mound Wednesday:
Making his fifth start, Webb failed to get through five full innings for the third time. He was pulled in the fifth and charged with four earned on seven hits and a walk. The contact wasn't particularly hard, but Webb struggled with his command, particularly with a slider that kept veering towards the left-handed batter's box.
"It's frustrating," Webb said. "I'm a competitor. I want to put the team in the best position to win and I didn't do that. It's frustrating."
Webb followed Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in the rotation and has a chance this month to jump to the front of the line of young starters vying for 2020 jobs. So far, Webb has a 6.75 ERA as a big leaguer.
"It's about executing your pitches," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff tonight, he did. He had a little bit of trouble executing the breaking ball early. The kid's got good stuff. He just made some mistakes."
The lefty took over in the sixth after the Giants had scored three runs to cut the deficit to one. Selman showed his fastball-slider combo while getting two quick outs, but then walked a pinch-hitter. Cole Tucker, the Pirates excitable rookie, jumped on a hanging slider and yanked an RBI double to left.
Selman was a revelation for the River Cats this season but has yet to carry that over. He has given up a run in four of six appearances.
The most notable part of his evening was the fact that he warmed up to "Yellow Submarine." Rogers faced just one batter, elevating a slider that Kevin Newman harmlessly bounced out. That stranded a runner on third.
The funky right-hander has allowed just two runs in nine appearances and looks like he could be part of the solution next season. It remains a complete mystery why the Giants didn't feel the need to take a look at him last year or the year before that.
He quietly has made the most appearances (26) of any active Giants reliever other than Will Smith, and he should be pretty happy with his body of work. Coonrod got through the heart of Pittsburgh's order to lower his ERA to 3.09.
At the same time, it'll be interesting to see how an analytics-driven front office views Coonrod's work. He has a 4.71 FIP and the strikeout rate of 6.2 is what you would expect from Ty Blach, not someone with a 98 mph fastball. If the Giants can get Coonrod to miss a few more bats, he could be a real weapon.
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Giants officials have long gone back and forth on whether his future is as a starter or reliever. Like Shaun Anderson, his quickest path to a consistent big league job will be as a reliever. The 24-year-old made his third appearance out of the bullpen and struck out No. 3 hitter Colin Moran before getting cleanup hitter Josh Bell to take an ugly two-strike swing at a slider down and in.
Menez has faced 11 batters since coming up to join the bullpen and has struck out five of them. If you're left-handed with pretty good stuff and you pile up strikeouts, you're going to have a job in the big leagues.