Well that was exciting. Four doubles, one single, and 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position! Not too much to dissect from tonight, aside from Braves starter Mike Minor dominating the Giants’ lineup. So instead, I’ll seize this moment to talk about some more interesting things than the Giants’ inability to produce tonight.

Does Buster Posey have a problem? 

Pictured above is the play in question, you can watch it here. (I’ll embed it when available)

Here’s the next play in question:

Now to rephrase a little bit, Posey does not have a problem. He’s won an MVP award and is probably a Yadier Molina away from a Gold Glove award. He’s good. And I’m not here to bring up the Scott Cousins play that destroyed Posey in 2011 and has changed his style of play since. But, I do think it’s fair to question whether Posey should try to be a bit more aggressive.

You’ll see as Starling Marte is coming to slide into home in the second video, Posey is already starting to back out his left leg to allow Marte to slide his hand in a second before the tag can be applied. On the Jason Heyward play, Posey is standing facing the Giants dugout, making it difficult for him to catch up to a sliding Heyward as he passed Posey. Albeit this is just be fantasizing here, but I’d have to imagine had his body been facing Heyward, some contact would have been made and the tag be applied.

You knew immediately that Bochy’s attempt at a challenge would be for naught, Posey had no reaction to the safe call by home plate umpire Ed Hickox. Posey wasn’t confident in his tag, and it took the umpires in New York about 35 seconds to confirm Posey’s lack of argument.

The wording of the new home plate collision rule is long and vague. A large group of individuals in baseball have been very public in their distaste for the new rule, or at least the ambiguity of it. My understanding of it is that the catcher is first and foremost not allowed to block the runner’s access to the plate if the catcher does not have the ball. Furthermore, the catcher much provide a lane for runner to have access to the plate. The problem I see is not the rule. Posey is very good at catching this way. He typically provides a lane to the runner and then some. I don’t blame him for his tentativeness he has good reason for it -but I wonder how long the Giants will be willing to stick with it.

It may just be even more incentive for the Giants to try and get Posey out from behind the plate and over to a different position. Don’t get me wrong, that is much easier said than done, and is probably three years away realistically. I personally don’t think I’ve seen Hector Sanchez catch enough to say that he’s that much more aggressive or catches the way Posey “should” be catching. But I will say that I would be very surprised if someone within the organization thought Posey was playing his position aggressively enough. Posey was instructed in 2012 when he came to take plays at the plate more passively, but the extent as to how passive Bochy and his staff was aiming for in unknown.

Here’s what Bochy told reporters after the game:

“These slides are getting creative. It wasn’t the first time we’ve missed a tag. It’s pretty simple, I think. At this point, whether it’s second, third or home, they’re doing hook slides. He went around him and ducked his shoulder. There’s not a lot to say about the tag there. He was in a pretty good position.

I think (Posey) thought he had him easily. You have to give (Heyward) credit — he did a good job of avoiding the tag. We’ll learn from this.”

Understandably so, there doesn’t seem to be much concern amid one missed tag. I don’t expect any major rumblings about Posey’s style of play to be unearthed this season, but it’s something to keep in mind long term. How long are the Giants okay with a passive style of play from their catcher?

CHMOTD:

strike-zone (1)

Courtesy ESPN Stats & Info, Mike Minor’s pitch frequency tonight. He pounded the lower-half of the strike zone tonight, and the Giants never really could get anything going. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Closing Time:

  • Posey on the tag play: “I never felt anything, to be honest with you.”
  • Vogelsong notched eight strikeouts tonight, and for five dominant innings tonight was pitching like it was 2011. He really did have good stuff tonight, and it’s an encouraging sign going forward.
  • Michael Morse is now 2-for-26 in the last week’s worth of games.
  • Something I didn’t notice until reading over Alex Pavlovic’s postgame notes, Brandon Hicks played first base in the ninth inning. This isn’t a new venture for him, he played at first in one game for the A’s back in 2012. He’s as seasoned as they get at first base.
  • More on Hicks, his 29 games at second base for the Giants are the most games he’s played for any team at one position.
  • Tomorrow’s matinée at 12:45 will feature a duel between two aces. Madison Bumgarner takes on Julio Tehran in the rubber match of the series.

 

About The Author

Connor Grossman
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Currently enjoying the tropical, subzero temperatures in the Fresno of New York. I don't miss Eli Whiteside.

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