Lincecum: 'Buster and I did a great job staying on the same page'
Jeremy Sasson, a Cal grad and sales engineer created a "Buster Hugs" poster that went viral after Tim Lincecum's no-hitter. (USA TODAY/AP IMAGES)
SAN DIEGO – Giants fans really are the best and most clever in baseball when it comes to GIFs, designs, photoshops and all manner of image manipulation on the Internet.
Jeremy Sasson, a Cal grad and sales engineer, made one that instantly went viral in the hours after Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter Saturday at Petco Park.
It’s a motivational poster with six images of Giants mound celebrations, titled “BUSTER HUGS: For when you’ve just done something awesome.”
Posey is hugging Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Matt Cain and Lincecum. I couldn’t resist showing it to Posey as he finished packing for his flight to New York. He instantly smiled, and pointed to the shot of him lifting Lincecum in the air.
“That one’s the best,” Posey said. “Timmy WAS going to celebrate.”
Hey, Larry Baer: Contact @jeremysasson and order a few thousand of those posters for the Dugout Store. If the massive number of retweets Alex Pavlovic and I received are any indication, you’ll make a mint.
Did you happen to notice who warmed up Jeremy Affeldt in the seventh inning Sunday? Guillermo Quiroz had just hit and Buster Posey was at first base and Hector Sanchez is on the DL, so …
Brandon Crawford quasi-volunteered.
“I was looking around the infield thinking, who is that?” Affeldt said. “If I knew it was Crawford right away, I ‘d have thrown a scud.”
His sinkers were tough enough.
“The first one, I jumped a little,” Crawford said.
Affeldt saw the way Crawford’s wrist broke has he caught pitches. So no, he won’t recommend that the club’s shortstop become the emergency catcher, too.
“First time I’d caught since I was 12 or 13 years old, I think,” Crawford said.
“I could tell,” Affeldt added.
In all seriousness, it was a very good afternoon for Affeldt, who had his second consecutive stable outing while throwing nine pitches for strikes. And Santiago Casilla said it was good for him to get on the mound in a big league game for the first time since May 20 before the break.
The Giants will need both those guys to be extra sharp in the second half, no question.
“I fixed my slot,” Affeldt said. “My breaking balls aren’t landing in the on-deck circle now.”
By now you know the Giants are platooning Jeff Francoeur and Kensuke Tanaka in left field and platooning Andres Torres and Gregor Blanco in center.
But Tanaka will yield to a defensive replacement when the Giants have a lead, and manager Bruce Bochy said he’d put Torres in center and Blanco in left.
All five of Torres’ errors have come in left field, where he’s flat whiffed on a few line drives. Blanco is comfortable in either spot, and Torres sees the ball better in center. So that’s the way Bochy will line them up.
Speaking of Blanco and Torres, did you catch the final out of Lincecum’s no-hitter? Blanco was camped under the final out when he caught a sprinting Torres out of the corner of his eye.
“I’m like, `What is he doing? Is he going to try to catch it?’” Blanco said. “That’s why I didn’t raise my arms or celebrate or anything like that. I was waving him off.”
There was a superstitious moment earlier in the ninth, when Blanco made a catch and his throw to the infield got away from second baseman Marco Scutaro. First baseman Brandon Belt picked it up and threw it to Lincecum.
The pitcher immediately tossed it back to Scutaro so it could go around the horn – and Pablo Sandoval could make the final throw back to the pitcher.
Did he think Belt was going to jinx him?
“No, I just believe in that process of getting it back from the third baseman,” Lincecum said. “Belt threw it because that’s what he thought he should have done. I said, `nope,’ threw it back to Scutaro.”
George Kontos was serving the third and final game of his suspension Saturday. So he couldn’t join his teammates in the celebration on the field. He had to watch every bit of the no-hitter on a clubhouse TV.
“I couldn’t risk it,” Kontos said. “It was miserable. But I got Timmy as soon as he came in.”
Final word of the first half belongs to Bochy, to head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner after Lincecum threw 148 pitches.
“One time, can you ice it?” Bochy begged. “He said no, he’s not going to ice it. He feels great.”