SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Buster Posey caught Tim Lincecum on Tuesday. Heranged to pluck a foul pop out of the air. He threw out two of four attemptedbase stealers. He drew a walk in three plate appearances. He slid into second,too.
All in all, it was a good way to spend his 25thbirthday.
Heres the icing on that birthday cake: For the first timethis spring, he was catching on back-to-back days.
It was one thing to see Buster back (in the clubhouse),Tim Lincecum said. Its another thing to see him doing all the things he didbefore he got injured.
Lincecum and Posey, the Giants opening-day battery, workedtogether for the first time this spring in Tuesdays 5-3 loss to the LosAngeles Angels at Scottsdale Stadium. The last time they teamed up, it was May21 and Lincecum threw a three-hit shutout against the As. It was so long ago,Andres Torres was in the lineup that day. Pat Burrell, Cody Ross and Miguel Tejada, too.
Four days after that, Poseys ankle got ripped apart in ahome-plate collision. Hell deal with aches and pains and breaking scar tissue throughout this season. But for now, hes handling the pounding without any apparentlimitation.
And the Giants are thrilled about that.
Its all going well and were excited, said Giants managerBruce Bochy, who might have Posey play first base or DH on Wednesday. My senseis hell feel fine tomorrow.
Posey caught seven innings for the second consecutive daybut said he easily couldve worked all nine. Thats the last box to check.
Im excited to see how it feels tomorrow but by all signsit should feel good, Posey said. I felt the same Ive felt all spring. Imjust excited to get going. Everything is go.
Lincecum had to smile when Posey threw out Albert Pujols atsecond base. He wondered how much the ankle would limit Posey, so that was anencouraging sight.
You see him throwing out runners and you put it in your headwhat hes capable of doing when hes out there, Lincecum said. He seems likethe same confident Posey that he is. Hes not talking about his ankle, not usingit as an excuse. Its, Im Posey. Im here to do my job.
Its like hes been on hiatus for a year and now hesback.
Lincecum even took time to wish Posey a happy birthday although he didnt realize it until he heard screams from well-wishers in thestands.
Posey said he was looking forward to an evening justhanging with the family."
"You know me," he said. "Pretty boring."