The Giants were the majors’ hottest team for months, then had to beat the San Diego Padres 11-4 on Sunday for a franchise-record 107th victory to top the 1904 New York team and hold off pesky defending World Series champion Los Angeles at the end.
Webb (11-3) did it all in leading surprising San Francisco to its first division crown since 2012, delighting a delirious, deafening crowd of 36,901. Buster Posey had an incredible day, too.
The Dodgers won 106 games.
“You’re going to be hard-pressed to see another race like this for quite a while,” Posey said.
Posey raised both arms into the air when Eric Hosmer struck out swinging to end it, and ran out to the mound to hug reliever Dominic Leone.
“The first thing that comes to mind for me is how proud I am of this group and what they accomplished,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler told fans from the field. “Part of the reason that I feel that way is because I think we all knew at the beginning of the season, or even dating back to the beginning of spring training, what the projections are and what the industry sort of thought of us as a club.”
The Dodgers and the Padres were the hands-down favorites to win the division when the season began six months ago.
Instead, this might have been Jayce Tingler’s final game managing disappointing San Diego (79-83), which had high hopes of contending for a championship behind stars Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. and a US$175 million payroll.
The Padres lost eight of their final nine and finished below .500 for the 10th time in 11 years — they were 37-23 last season — after losing 13 of their last 15 to cap a second-half collapse.
The Dodgers will play the St Louis Cardinals in a one-game wild card on Wednesday.
In the American League, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox both secured a wild card spot after crawling past the finish line.
The Yankees managed only four hits in their season finale, but one was all day needed. Aaron Judge drove home the winning run with a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth. The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0.
Boston got past the Washington Nationals 7-5, thanks to a ninth-inning two-run blast from Rafael Devers.
The Yankees and Red Sox will play a one-game wild card on Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays missed out despite thrashing the Baltimore Orioles 12-4 on the final day. (AFP)