It seems with every game Buster Posey plays this spring, he hits a new milestone in his recovery from last year’s season-ending injury.
On Friday against the Rangers, it was Posey first play at home since getting bulled over by the Marlins’ Scott Cousins.
But by all accounts, Posey passed this test, like he’s passed just about all other tests this spring.
Well, except, the runner wasn’t out. But who cares? Posey was not hurt.
“One run’s not worth him missing the whole year again,” pitcher Madison Bumgarner put it.
The play came in the fifth inning, with the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland on second when Elvis Andrus singled to center.
Angel Pagan came up throwing home on the play. It was a good throw. Posey positioned himself in front of home plate, a bit more out in front than on the Cousins play last May. Moreland then came into the plate wide with a hook side.
Posey fielded the throw, then lunged at Moreland with a sweep tag. At first it appeared that Posey missed Moreland all together. But Posey said he tagged him high. It’s hard to say whether Moreland’s hand swiped the plate before Posey’s tag.
Even though every one else in the park might have been thinking about it, Posey said he wasn’t thinking back to last May when the play developed.
“I was more thinking kind of about the work we’d done this spring and all the practice and stuff,” Posey said. “And I think … it was was good.”
It may have been the first play at the plate, but it won’t be Posey’s last. But again, it’s a step.
Oh and the home plate umpire who made the call at the plate? Derryl Cousins, oddly enough. No relation.
- Somewhat lost in the hub-bub of the Posey play at the plate was the fact that it appeared that the Giants were headed to their second consecutive shutout loss. That is until Brett Pill’s home run in the ninth inning. It was Pill’s third homer this spring and second in three days as he makes a late push to make the club.
- 1B Brandon Belt, also competing to make the club, went 2 for 3 with a walk. He’s hitting .348 this spring.
- Aubrey Huff, getting the start in left, had a double over the center fielder’s head in left-center. It was Huff’s first double of the spring.
- Ryan Theriot started at 3B and went 0 for 3, dropping his spring average to .200 — although he was robbed of an infield hit by a bad call at first.
- Meanwhile, Emmanuel Burriss started at 2B and went 2 for 3, raising his averge to .436.
- Madison Bumgarner gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings (the run coming on that play at the plate). But he also gave up eight hits, all singles. In fact, the Rangers had 13 hits in the game, all singles.
- Javier Lopez got tagged for three runs on four singles in the ninth.
- Sergio Romo returned to action after sitting out with a cranky elbow. He had a 1-2-3 eighth with a strikeout.
The Giants have their final split-squad day of the spring. Both are 1:05 p.m. games. Matt Cain will start on the road against the Reds. Posey will start at 1B in that game. Minor leaguer Travis Blackley will start in Scottsdale against the Rockies.