It was yet another Happy Home Opener for the Giants on Monday. Well mostly happy.
It got a little scary in the first inning when Buster Posey was hit on the top of the head with Taijuan Walker fastball.
The ball hit Posey on the top, back part of the batting helmet. He sat on the ground for a while, adjusting his jaw. Trainer Dave Groeschner talked to Posey for a bit, then escorted the Giants catcher off the field, walking under his own power.
Given the Giants’ experience with concussions – last season Joe Panik had a DL stint after being hit in the head with a pitch from Matt Moore when the lefty was pitching with the Rays – it was not surprising for the Giants to take the cautious approach.
After the Giants’ game – a 4-1 win over over the Diamondbacks – Giants manager said Bruce Bochy said Posey was “doing good, he’s doing fine,” adding that if Posey weren’t a catcher, he might have been OK to stay in the game.
Translation: Given the number of foul tips catchers take off the mask in a normal season, the Giants were taking no chances with a pitch to the noggin.
Bochy said Posey is likely to sit out Tuesday game. And considering that backup Nick Hundley has been catching Matt Cain, Wednesday’s starter, most of the spring, we can expect the Giants to take the very cautious route and give Posey Wednesday off as well.
“It’s a scary moment, dangerous moment,” Bochy said. “It’s one of the worst sounds you can hear in baseball, the ball hitting the helmet. It’s a scary moment. There’s been a lot of damage to hitters hit in the head.”
True, and sometimes that damage is not quickly revealed.
When Panik was plunked in the head by Moore, he bounced right up and headed down to first base, remaining in the game. It wasn’t until eight days later when Panik complained of not being able to track pitches that the Giants placed him on the concussion disabled list. He spent a month on the DL.
So if Posey ends up just missing two-plus games, that would be great. But don’t be surprised if the Giants decide in a day or so to place Posey on the 7-day concussion DL. That would sideline him through the last six games of his homestand and be ready to return on April 18 for a two-day series at Kansas City.
It would also require someone the Giants clearing a spot on the 40-man roster to clear room for catcher Tim Federowicz, who is currently at Triple-A Sacramento.
We’ll wait and see.
Also we learned that Aaron Hill is next in the line of catchers for the Giants behind Posey and Nick Hundley.
“He just found out today,” Bochy said. “Found out late.”
In the meantime, we’ll celebrate another win in the home opener, making it eight wins of the past nine.
Matt Moore was excellent, limiting the Diamdondbacks on one run on three hits over eight innings. Mark Melancon came on in the ninth to record his second save in two days.
Moore also had the biggest “hit” of the season.
Coming to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, Moore hit a swinging bunt to the right of the mound. Walker fielded the ball and threw wildly to the plate in an effort to get Brandon Crawford trying to score. The wild throw allowed Joe Panik to score. Catcher Jeff Mathis’ errant throw trying to get Panik allowed Jarrett Parker to score all the way from first on a ball that traveled 45 feet.
The play was set up by Parker drawing a walk right before Panik. Parker later added his first hit of the season in the sixth.
The Giants also went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. But the Giants got the win, and that’s all the matter.
And we’ll just wait and see about Buster.