In the final game of the season, Logan Webb achieved the rare milestone of blasting a home run from the pitcher's position in the lineup. However, it might be the last time that this happens.
SF Giants: Was Logan Webb's achievement the last of its kind?
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred met with members of the media on Thursday to discuss the current state of labor discussions. Collective bargaining conversations have been contentious to date, but he confirmed that both sides have agreed to implement a universal DH going forward, meaning that the pitcher will no longer be hitting in the National League.
When that was announced, Webb's titanic blast appeared on just about every social media feed:
Of course, pitchers are not known for their bat. Anyone who has watched baseball can confirm this. Giants pitched combined to slash 090/.153/.122 with one home run and 11 RBI in 255 plate appearances last season.
It was a clear soft spot in the lineup and that comes as no surprise. That was the case for every National League team as all pitchers combined to register a paltry .290 OPS in 2021. Replacing the pitcher with a universal DH is a move that instantly adds to the appeal of baseball.
With that being said, there were some bright moments when pitchers stepped into the batter's box. Besides Webb's home run, Kevin Gausman laced a walk-off sacrifice fly to seal a 6-5 victory against the Atlanta Braves in a mid-September matchup.
For years, Giants fans got to watch Madison Bumgarner take violent hacks at the plate and he, sometimes, connected for a long home run. In total, he has blasted 19 home runs in his 13-year career, but he has still be a below-average hitter despite the bevy of highlights.
This will not be the first time that the universal DH comes to the National League. It was implemented during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but to the Giants credit, they honored the pitchers by producing a .596 OPS from the DH position in that year.
This does not mean that pitchers will not hit ever again. Some managers like Giants skipper Gabe Kapler aggressively use the bench early in the game and that could create an opportunity for a late-inning at-bat from a pitcher. So, it likely will not be the last time that a pitcher hits a home run, but Webb's blast will definitely be a footnote in baseball history.