Results tagged ‘ Buster Posey ’

NLDS Game 5: San Francisco Giants 6, Cincinnati Reds 4

The San Francisco Giants celebrate after they defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 in Game 5 of the National League division baseball series, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Cincinnati. The Giants won the final three games, all in Cincinnati, and advanced to the NL championship series. (AP Photo/Michael Keating)

BOX SCORE

Game 1: Reds 5, Giants 2
Game 2: Reds 9, Giants 0
Game 3: Giants 2, Reds 1, 10 inn.
Game 4: Giants 8, Reds 3
Game 5: Giants 6, Reds 4

The San Francisco Giants made history Thursday, and I have only one thing to say about that.

PHHHEEEEEEWWWWWW!

Only the Giants can make a 6-0 a heart-thumping affair.

That’s where the Giants were since stinging Mat Latos for six runs in the fifth, the killer blow being Buster Posey’s grand slam that made it 6-0.

Well, we thought it was a killer blow. It was just a wounding blow. The Reds did not go down with a fight.

BOTTOM OF FIFTH: But the Giants didn’t get a shutout inning from Matt Cain. Ryan Hanigan was hit by a pitch and Drew Stubbs singles. One out later, Brandon Phillips doubles both home. But Cain ended it there. GIANTS 6, REDS 2.

BOTTOM OF SIXTH: Ryan Ludwick leads off with a home run to right. Jay Bruce walks and Scott Rolen singles. Nobody out, and it looked like Bruce Bochy was going to get Cain. But pitching coach Dave Righetti stops him. Hanigan strikes out on a 3-2 pitch with the runners moving, and Posey throws out Bruce at third. Cain is relieved, and George Kontos gets Stubbs to ground out to end inning. GIANTS 6, REDS 3

BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH: Jeremy Affeldt comes into pitch. With one out, Phillips singles. Another out later, Votto singles. Then Affeldt gets Ludwick to hit a comebacker. GIANTS 6, REDS 3

BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH: Javier Lopez comes in to get Bruce to groundout. Santiago Casilla comes in and gives up a bloop single to Scott Rolen. Hanigan hits a laser that is snagged by Brandon Crawford at short. Todd Frazier serves the ball into center for a single. Casilla comes out, Sergio Romo comes in. Dioner Navarro hits a looper to center that Angel Pagan makes a nice rolling catch. GIANTS 6, REDS 3

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH: Romo gets Phillips to pop out. Then Zach Cozart walks and Votto singles to right. Ludwick singles to left, scoring Cozart. Runners at first and second at one out. Bruce comes up and hits so many foul balls you had to runner if they would run out of balls. Finally, Romo gets Bruce to fly to left. Romo gets ahead of Scott Rolen 1-2 before a slider — that actually missed on its location — gets Rolen to strike out. GAME OVER. GIANTS 6, REDS 4.

It was a great game. A great comeback effort by the Reds. Great pitches, great plays by the Giants to preserve the lead.

Bring on the Cardinals or Nationals!!!

Five good reasons the San Francisco Giants can win without Melky Cabrera: No. 4, The Giants have endured worse (Buster Posey)

The loss of Melky Cabrera was truly devasting. But it’s nothing new to the Giants.

It can’t compare to when the Giants lost Buster Posey for the season in 2011.

Many pundits like to say the Giants’ 2011 season effectively ended with Posey’s season ended with his ankle injury. Giants fans know better.

When Posey’s season ended last year, the Giants were left with a lineup consisting of ailing Pat Burrell and Cody Ross and inept players like Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada, Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand. Freddy Sanchez’s season would end a couple weeks later. Put it all together and the Giants had the most anemic offense in many years.

The Giants tried to replace Posey, who was playing a more vital position than Cabrera’s left field, with two players who struggled to hit .200 — Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart.

And the loss of Posey didn’t last six-plus weeks. It was four-plus months.

Still, the Giants managed to remain competitve and stayed in first place into August. Their playoff push was eventually derailed by injuries to Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt, not to mention a DL stint by Carlos Beltran.

Even with all that, the Giants made a late push in September that almost got them back into the wild-card race.

If the Giants could do that in 2011 without Posey, the 2012 Giants certainly could manage with Cabrera.

San Francisco Giants 9, Colorado Rockies 3: Buster Posey right at home at AT&T Park

San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies’ Drew Pomeranz in the third inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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This won’t come as a surprise to any Giants fan, but when it comes to hitting, Buster Posey is unlike any other player on the San Francisco Giants.

Unlike his teammates, Buster Posey likes hitting at AT&T Park.

On a team that has scored about 100 fewer runs in games played at home than on the road, Buster Posey is hitting .351 at home this season, as opposed to .316 on the road.

Explain that one, Buster.

“I’m comfortable here,” Posey said. “I see the ball well. It’s a big ballpark, but the gaps are big, too, so you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

Posey kept up the hitting a home Saturday, going 2 for 4 including his 19th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Drew Pomeranz in the third inning.

TRIVIA TIME: Can you name the eight Giants who have homered at AT&T Park this season?

Posey’s recent hot streak has thrust himself into the discussion for NL MVP. While Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen remains the clear favorite, Posey, along with Melky Cabrera, deserve consideration.

Posey has 19 home runs, 75 RBI and is hitting .330. He’s got a slash-line of .330/.399/.538.

Cabrera has 11 home runs, 57 RBI and is hitting. 349. His slash line goes .349/.394/.524. He has scored a NL high 80 runs.

Posey alone cannot carry the Giants. Cabrera alone can’t carry the Giants. Put together in the 3-4 slot in the lineup, and they are a deadly combination.

In the third, Cabrera got the rally started with a bunt single. Then Posey launched a shot into the left-field bleachers.

Now, there’s one more piece to the puzzle. The No. 5 hitter behind Posey.

If Posey continues to rake like he has, opposing managers are going to find themselves doing what Jim Tracy did in the fifth inning. With a runner on second, Tracy walked Posey to get to Hunter Pence.

On Saturday, Pence delivered with a double off the right-field wall.

“With the way Buster’s hitting, that’s going to happen quite a bit,” Pence said. “You’ve got to do something about it. Since I’ve been here, Buster’s been incredible. Last year, when I got traded to the Phillies, the same thing happened to Ryan Howard. They walked him, and it’s going to come down to who’s behind him. It felt really good to partake in the fun today.”

In fact, every Giant got a chance to partake.

The Giants hitters swung the bats like they did on the recent road trip, slamming out 13 hits, including four extra-base hits (Posey’s homer, Pence’s double, and triples from Angel Pagan and Joaquin Arias).

Every Giants starter — including pitcher Matt Cain — collected a hit.

It was a good sign. Posey’s homer was his team-high fifth at home. The Giants have only hit 18 home runs at AT&T this season, and no Giants other than Posey has gone deep at home since Pablo Sandoval did it on June 29, 17 home games ago.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Here are the players who have belted the Giants’ 18 home runs at home this season.

  • Buster Posey 5
  • Brandon Belt 3
  • Pablo Sandoval 3
  • Melky Cabrera 2
  • Gregor Blanco 2
  • Angel Pagan 1
  • Madison Bumgarner 1
  • Aubrey Huff 1

Yeah, MadBum and Huff. If you got those two names, MoreSplashHits bow to your Giants fanitudeness.

But it’s why the Giants have to hit well as a team at home. It’s not going to come from one guy. It’s got to be a team effort.

San Francisco Giants 16, Colorado Rockies 4: All Giants hitters needed was a little Coors

BOX SCORE

We thought a little Jonathan Sanchez and Coors Field could get the Giants’ hitters out of their recent slump.

Well, you would think that 16 runs on 16 hits would validate that claim.

But Friday’s offensive outburst had less to do with Sanchez and more to do with the Rockies’ bullpen and the Rockies’ ability to give the Giants runs.

The Giants worked 67 pitches from Sanchez in three innings of work, but only got two runs on three hits and three walks. Sanchez actually saw his ERA drop slightly after Friday’s outing as one of the two runs he allowed was unearned.

But the Giants scored more runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings (13) than they did in seven of their previous eight games.

The eighth inning was the best example of how the Giants were aided by the Rockies.

The Giants loaded the bases on a single, error and infield single. A Ryan Theriot single scored one. The two wild pitches scored two more runs. The second wild pitch allowed Melky Cabrera to reach base on a walk.

Then Buster Posey unleashed a three-run home run for a six-run inning.

There was good stats from the offense, however:

  • Angel Pagan reached base five times, going 3 for 4 with a double, triple, four runs and two walks.
  • Theriot was 2 for 5 with three runs and two RBI.
  • Posey was 4 for 5 with three RBI and a walk.
  • Hunter Pence got his first hit as a Giants after starting 0 for 9.
  • All nine starters collected at least one hit, including a double by Ryan Vogelsong.

That seventh-inning double by Vogelsong may have sapped him of some energy.

After allowing one hit in the first six innings, Vogelsong allowed three hits to the first four batters of the seventh inning — two doubles and a triple that resulted to two runs.

Manager Bruce Bochy left him in to face Wilin Rosario, who hooked a two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole.

That snapped Vogelsong’s streak of 16 quality starts to open the season and he finished by allowing four runs on five hits in 6.1 innings.

It’s a good start to the road trip and kept the Giants ahead of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, who both won Friday.

Now they need to keep it up as Madison Bumgarner takes to the hill Saturday against Jeff Francis.

San Francisco Giants 9, Atlanta Braves 0: Catchers dominate the headlines (good and bad)

San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, left, doubles to score teammate Gregor Blanco in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, July 17, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

BOX SCORE

Buster Posey wanted to put his first big-league regular-season series in his home state of Georgia behind him.

That came in 2010, when he went 1 for 11 against the Atlanta Braves.

Two years later, Buster was back in Georgia (having missed the 2011 visit because of his ankle injury), and he was bustin’ out.

Posey went 3 for 5 with a double and five RBI as the Giants opened a six-game road trip to with a rout of the Braves.

Posey’s three-run double was the big blow in a six-run fourth inning for the Giants.

Posey started the game at first base, even after earlier in the day expressing confidence in his ability to catch Barry Zito or anyone on the Giants staff.

“Listen,” he said, “I’ve got the utmost confidence in myself that I can catch anybody. I’ve never questioned that. I’ve caught (Tim Lincecum) plenty and had a lot of success with him. I haven’t caught Barry as much as Timmy, but I’m definitely comfortable with him as well.”

Posey got his chance to catch Zito when Sanchez left the game in the fourth inning with a strained left knee.

Zito, who threw seven shutout innings Tuesday, quipped: “Me and Buster were joking around. I said ‘You probably sniggered him because you wanted to work with me.’ “

Posey will be working with all Giants pitchers for the near future as Sanchez is sidelined, although early reports are that the injury is not considered serious.

Sanchez will get an MRI Wednesday morning, so the Giants will know more then. But for now, they are not planning any roster moves.

“We’re hoping for the best,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We think it’s just a couple games. We’re hopeful it’s what we think it is.”

In the meantime, Pablo Sandoval, who has not caught a big-league game since 2009, becomes the No. 2 catcher on the roster, followed by Emmanuel Burriss.

If the Giants eventually find a need for another catcher, the logical choice is Eli Whiteside, despite Twitters calls for Tommy Joseph or Andrew Susac. And there are plenty of reasons why.

  • Whiteside is on the 40-man roster. Joseph and Susac are not. Bringing up Whiteside would not require a corresponding move on the 40-man roster.
  • Calling up Joseph or Susac would also start burning their player options and begin their arbitration clock. Having already done that with the young Sanchez (22), they would not want to do that with the equally young Joseph (21) or Susac (22).
  • While Whiteside is only hitting .241 at Triple-A Fresno, Joseph and Susac aren’t batting much better. Joseph is hitting .255 at Double-A Richmond and Susac .226 at Class A San Jose.
  • Whiteside is hitting .400 over his past eight games (10 for 25).
  • But offensive production is a plus when you’re talking about backup catcher. The bigger plus is defensive ability. Whiteside has that big-league experience. Joseph and Susac are still learning.
  • The pitching staff is comfortable with Whiteside, with all of the starters and most of the bullpen having worked with him in the past.
  • Given the nature of the injury and how the backup would be used, we’re talking about a limited stint with the Giants, maybe 2-3 starts if Sanchez eventually lands on the DL. The Giants would rather keep their young catchers where they are and playing regularly than sitting on the bench with the big club.

Hey, Sandy Alderson, stuff this: San Francisco Giants dominate All-Star Game

National League’s Melky Cabrera, of the San Francisco Giants, shows off his MVP trophy after the MLB All-Star baseball game against the American League, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. The National League won 8-0. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

BOX SCORE

For all the belly-aching by fans across the country and the rabid tweets from Mets president Sandy Alderson, the fans and Tony LaRussa got it right in putting four San Francisco Giants into the starting lineup of the NL All-Star team.

The Giants’ stat lines were pretty good

  • CF Melky Cabrera: 2 for 3, home run, two runs, two RBI.
  • C Buster Posey: 0 for 2, walk, run, five scoreless innings caught
  • 3B Pablo Sandoval: 1 for 2, triple, run, 3 RBI
  • P Matt Cain: 2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 BB, 1 strikeout, win.

If you missed the start of the game, you missed a thrilling first inning.

After Carlos Gonzalez struck out to open the game, Cabrera singled to left and scored on Ryan Braun’s double.

After Joey Votto struck out, Carlos Beltran and Buster Posey drew walks.

Braun, Beltran and Posey all scored when Sandoval dug out a Verlander curveball and hit it off the wall just inside the right-field foul pole for a triple.

I don’t get many triples,” the Panda said. “We had some fun with that in the dugout.”

Just like that, it was 5-0 National League.

Cabrera grounded out to second in the second. Posey popped out to catcher Mike Napoli in the third and Pablo Sandoval flied to center in the fourth.

But Cabrera capped the exciting night for the Giants by hammering a two-run homer to left off the Rangers’ Matt Harrison, making it 8-0.

That home run made Cabrera the first Giant to be selected All-Star Game MVP since Bobby Bonds in 1973 in a game also played in Kansas City.

“I didn’t come to win an MVP. That’s just a surprise,” he said. “The same opportunity that Kansas City gave me last year is the same opportunity that San Francisco is giving me every day to showcase my talent. Again, I’m just very thankful for the fans that voted for me to come here.”

He can also thank Jose Bautista for the MVP trophy and the Camaro that came with it.

Bautista made a nifty sliding catch on a looper off the bat of Braun in the second inning. If Bautista doesn’t make that play, Braun finishes the night 3 for 3 with a single, double and triple … and likely with an MVP honor.

After all the Giants left the game, the All-Star Game went quiet.

Cain earned the victory, becoming the first Giants pitcher to earn an All-Star win since Vida Blue in 1981.

“For those guys to go out and score five runs in the first inning was definitely a little more relaxing for me,” he said. “But I still tried to stay focused.”

Giants All-Star MVPs

  • Willie Mays, 1963 (Cleveland)
  • Juan Marichal, 1965 (Minnesota)
  • Willie Mays, 1968 (Houston)
  • Willie McCovey, 1969 (Washington)
  • Bobby Bonds, 1973 (Kansas City)
  • Melky Cabrera, 2012 (Kansas City)

Giants All-Star winning pitchers

  • Sal Maglie, 1951 (Detroit)
  • Johnny Antonelli, 1959 (Pittsburgh)
  • Stu Miller, 1961 (San Francisco)
  • Juan Marichal, 1962 (Washington)
  • Juan Marichal, 1964 (New York-Shea)
  • Gaylord Perry, 1966 (St. Louis)
  • Vida Blue, 1981 (Cleveland)

 

San Francisco Giants fans stuff the ballots: Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval All-Star starters

During the All-Star Selection Show Sunday, one of the panelists disagreed with the election of Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, even going so far as to scold Mets fans for not getting out the vote for their man.

But you can’t blame Mets fans. When it came to All-Star votes — especially online — San Francisco Giants fans belted a grand slam.

The final all-star vote in the NL was knocked black and orange.

Buster Posey went from having 3.3 million votes and leading Yadier Molina by a little more than 200,000 votes last week to finishing with an NL-record 7.6 million votes. Posey was the leading vote-getter in the National League. He outdistanced Molina by more than 2.5 million votes.

Last week, Melky Cabrera lost as the No. 3 vote-getter in the outfield to Ryan Braun. In the final tally, Cabrera was the top vote-getter among NL outfielders. Cabrera collected 7.5 million votes, a little less than 100,000 votes behind Posey. Cabrera finished more than 1 million votes ahead of No. 2 outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Sandoval went from trailing Wright by more than 400,000 votes to beating Wright by more than 1.6 million votes. Sandoval collected 5.7 million votes.

Oh, and it didn’t stop there. Two other Giants — 1B Brandon Belt and SS Brandon Crawford — finished second in voting at their respective positions. Belt finished more than 3 million votes behind the Reds’ Joey Votto. However, Crawford missed being voted the starting NL shortstop by a little more than 306,000 votes.

Outfielder Angel Pagan finished fifth among outfielders (4.5 million). Aubrey Huff was 14th (1.9 million). Freddy Sanchez, who has not played a big-league game in more than a year, finished fourth among second baseman (2.289 million votes).

It’s the first time since 2001 that the Giants have had three players voted All-Star starters (Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Rich Aurilia). Coincidentally, Bonds, Kent and Aurilia are expected at AT&T Park Sunday as the Giants commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 NL championship squad.

Congrats to Buster, the Melkman and the Panda, and also to Matt Cain, who was named to the All-Star team.

Here is the NL All-Star team:

STARTERS

C – Buster Posey, Giants; 1B – Joey Votto, Reds; 2B – Dan Uggla, Braves; SS – Rafael Furcal, Cardinals; 3B – Pablo Sandoval, Giants; OF – Matt Kemp, Dodgers; OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals; OF – Melky Cabrera, Giants.

PITCHERS

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Craig Kimbrel, Braves; Aroldis Chapman, Reds; Cole Hamels, Phillies; Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies; Wade Miley, Diamondbacks; Gio Gonzalez, Nationals; Stephen Strasburg, Nationals; R.A. Dickey, Mets; Matt Cain, Giants; Lance Lynn, Cardinals; Joel Hanrahan, Pirates; Huston Street, Padres

RESERVES

1B Bryan Lahair, Cubs; 2B Jose Altuve, Astros; SS Starlin Castro, Cubs; SS Ian Desmond, Nationals; 3B David Wright, Mets; C Carlos Ruiz, Phillies; C Yadier Molina, Cardinals; OF Jay Bruce, Reds; OF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies; OF Ryan Braun, Brewers; OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins; OF Andrew McCutchen.

Melky Cabrera moves into top 3 among outfielders in NL All-Star voting

If the All-Star voting ending today, the San Francisco Giants would have TWO players in the starting lineup.

Melky Cabrera jumped past reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun for third place in the outfield in NL All-Star voting released Tuesday.

Cabrera has 2,144,107 votes to move a little more than 25,000 votes ahead of Braun. Matt Kemp leads among NL outfielders with 3.32 million votes, followed by Carlos Beltran at 2.65 million.

Buster Posey continues to lead among catchers with 2,445,005 votes. He leads Yadier Molina of the Cardinals by 153,438 votes. Posey is trying to become the first San Francisco Giant to be voted the starting NL catcher in an All-Star Game since Ed Bailey in 1963.

The Giants haven’t had two players voted as All-Star starters since 2004, when Barry Bonds (OF) and Jeff Kent (2B) earned the honors.

The last time the Giants had three All-Star starters (via voting) was in 2001 when Bonds, Kent and SS Rich Aurilia won the balloting.

We mentioned that because Pablo Sandoval has moved up to No. 2 among third basemen. Sandoval trails the Mets’ David Wright by about 355,000 votes.

Other Giants among top vote-getters at their positions include 1B Brandon Belt (fourth), SS Brandon Crawford (fifth) and OF Angel Pagan (ninth).

The bad news for Giants All-Star hopefuls is that in-stadium voting ends on Friday, and the Giants are currently halfway through a nine-game road trip. However, Friday’s game is a home-away-from-home game at Oakland.

After that, voting can be done exclusively online through June 28. So let’s hope some wired Giants fans can stuff the ballots.

To vote for your Giants All-Stars, click here.

San Francisco Giants 6, Milwaukee Brewers 4: Buster Posey is wearing out opposing pitchers

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For a guy who is supposed to be “tired” or “worn out” Buster Posey sure looks frisky these days.

Two weeks ago, CSNBayArea’s Andrew Baggarly posted a story in which he quotes an unnamed scout who said he thought Buster Posey looked “worn out” adding that Posey’s at-bats got worse late in games.

At the time, Posey was hitting .361 with five strikeouts in 36 at-bats in innings 1-3.

But he was hitting .250 with 20 strikeouts in 64 at-bats in innings 4-9. In innings 7-9, he had 13 strikeouts in 30 at-bats with only one walk.

Baggarly did say that part of Posey’s struggles could be attributed to him trying to do too much in the wake of Pablo Sandoval’s absence from the lineup. But he also said fatigue could be a factor.

At the time, MoreSplashHits believed Posey’s struggles had everything to do with Posey trying to do too much.

While Posey’s strikeouts went up in late innings, so did his home runs. On May 10, two of his four home runs came in late innings.

Clearly, with the Giants always involved in tight games, Posey was trying to deliver a big hit that would get the Giants back into a game, give them the lead or help extend a lead.

And that got him into habits that took him away from the talents that made his such a valuable bat in the Giants lineup.

Once Posey realized that, he went about fixing it with the help of batting coach Hensley Meulens.

“Basically it’s just trying to keep my front side down,” Posey said. “I give ‘Bam Bam’ a lot of credit for recognizing the problem. We went down just a couple of days ago and hit some off the tee. It’s just a matter of keeping that front side closed and he has a couple of drills to help that.”

Since the start of the Giants’ last homestead, Posey is hitting .367 with 2 home runs and 11 RBI. What’s more, in the late innings, he has struck out twice and walked twice since that May 10 Baggarly post.

Posey had been hitting with power of late as well, even though AT&T Park robbed him of a couple of home runs over the weekend.

Miller Park is a different matter.

Posey belted a three-run shot in the first inning on Monday. On Tuesday, he belted a two-run blast that hit the center-field scoreboard, a shot that was estimated at 438 (even though Posey thinks it would have gone farther).

“I would like to think that one would go out at AT&T, too,” he said. “I think it was a little further (than 438 feet). What do you guys think?”

We think Brewers pitchers would be happy to see Posey sit out the series finale on Wednesday. Posey 12 for 24 with six home runs and 15 RBI in Miller Park (although the Giants’ visit to Milwaukee last season came right after Posey’s season-ending injury).

And the Brewers likely will get their wish. With Barry Zito on the mound (Hector Sanchez has been Zito’s personal catcher) and with a day game after a night game, manager Bruce Bochy said Posey will get a day off.

UP NEXT

Barry Zito faces Marco Estrada in 10:10 a.m. game Wednesday. Estrada is 0-3 with 4.63 ERA. He’s allowed at least four earned runs in three of his last four starts.

Buster Posey vs. Scott Hairston: By rule, Hairston should have been called out for interference at the plate?

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, left, looks to throw to first base for a double play after getting a force out on New York Mets' Scott Hairston (12) during the ninth inning of the baseball game Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Citi Field in New York. Posey's throw to first went wide, allowing Ruben Tejada, not pictured, to score the game-winning run. The Mets won 5-4. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig).

Once again, Scott Hairston found himself in the cross-hairs of San Francisco Giants’ fans.

This time it wasn’t for delivering a game-winning hit or belting a home run against the Giants.

It was for a slide, an interpreted legal slide that led to an errant throw by Posey and cost the Giants a 5-4 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.

Let’s set the stage for those who missed it.

The bases were loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a bouncer to first baseman Brandon Belt. Belt threw home to force out Scott Hairston. As Posey went to throw the ball back to first in an attempt to double up Nieuwenhuis and end the inning, Hairston slid into Posey, clipping the catcher’s right foot and causing him to fall just as he threw the ball to first.

Posey’s throw sailed into right field and the Mets scored the winning run.

All media reports, including Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, called the slide a legal play. Despite Posey’s objections that he was interfered with, Hairston was ruled to be in the base line because he was able to make contact with the plate with his hand as he slid into Posey.

But here’s the point no one is talking about.

Why should a player who has been forced out be allowed to impact the play LONG AFTER he’s been eliminated from the play?

In fact, the rule book says he should not.

Rule 7.09(d) on batter on runner interference states:

“Any batter or runner who has just been put out hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate.”

Pretty cut and dried. Except that there is an additional comment that opens that rule up for interpretation.

“If the batter or runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.”

It is that comment that allows runners sliding into second to attempt to break up double plays. But this play was not like a play at second when the runner is going hard into the base just as the infield receives the throw, forces the runner out and makes the throw to first in a bang-bang fashion.

Hairston was forced out at the plate while he was still a good 20 feet away from the plate.

Take a look at the photo at the top of this post.

Posey has already caught the ball, forced out Hairston and now the ball is in his throwing hand, ready to be released — and Hairston HAS NOT YET started his slide.

He’s already out. LONG OUT. At what point is a runner no longer be allowed to be part of the play? At what point is it purely interference and not just considered part of the completion of the play?

On this play, Hairston’s slide that clipped Posey was CLEARLY not part of the “act alone” of continuing to advance on the play. It was a deliberate effort to continue the play after he had been forced out with the explicit intent to interfere with the defender.

The only reason why Hairston was given the opportunity to interfere with Posey was that Posey hestitated briefly before throwing because pitcher Jeremy Affeldt was running to cover first base. (Now, there’s a secondary question about whether since it was Affeldt covering first whether Posey should have attempted the throw at all. But that’s not really pertinent to the argument we are making here.)

So MoreSplashHits contends that if a runner has not yet started his slide by the time he is forced out at any base, then he should be considered out on interference if he comes in contact with the defender.

Bruce Bochy and the Giants tried to lobby MLB to alter its rules about making contact with the catcher at the plays at the plate in an effort to protect catchers in the wake of Posey’s season-ending injury.

But at least when Scott Cousins barreled into Posey last May, he was a live runner on the basepaths. Even if Posey had caught the ball and maintained possession to record the out on Cousins, Cousins still would have been a live runner on the basepaths until contact was made with Posey.

In this case, Hairston was not a live baserunner. He was out, when he was allowed to contact the catcher.

MoreSplashHits believes Hairston should have been called out on interference.

That’s our interpretation of the rule. And it’s the proper interpretation of the rule.

What do you think?

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