No cooling down Posey even as Giants end August with loss

August 31, 2012, 11:29 pm
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CHICAGO Never mind the sleep deprivation Friday afternoon.Buster Posey couldnt believe how hot, humid and suffocatingly still the air felt at WrigleyField.

It was as high as Ive felt it this year, includingAtlanta, Philly and Washington, said Posey, after the Giants 6-4 loss to theCubs. I was probably sweating like crazy.

Did he use the cooling room?

Cooling room? Posey said.

Yeah. You know. The little room behind the dugout where you can get arefreshing blast of AC.

I didnt know about that, Posey said. Too bad you didnttell me about that before the game.

Well, apologies for whats coming next, but there was nocooling off Posey in August. He hit .371 in the month with six home runs and 21RBIs.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy planned to give Posey the day offFriday, after he caught nine innings on a hard-baked surface in a Thursdaynight game 1,000 miles away in Houston. But Posey sent his skipper a textmessage Friday morning: He was ready to catch another.

Then Posey went out and delivered a 3-for-3 performance witha walk, and knocked in a pair of runs.

Buster, its pretty impressive what he did today, saidBochy, who will put Posey at first base on Saturday and let Hector Sanchez takethe brunt of catching Tim Lincecum.

I will say this for the guys: It was a tough day.

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It was a tough month, too. The Giants played 17 of 28 gameson the road in August, and lest anyone forget, this is the month that steered apromising season onto the rocks a year ago. This year, despite finishing with aloss behind an unfocused Madison Bumgarner on Friday, the Giants went 18-11 inAugust to grab control of the NL West.

They maneuvered in front despite losing Melky Cabrera to aseason-ending drug suspension and watching the archrival Dodgers load up theirroster with high-cost reinforcements.

Last August, we couldnt get any runs on the board, Bochysaid. I think it starts with the job (Angel) Pagan has done in the leadoffspot, and (Marco) Scutaro behind him. Theyre the table setters, and of courseyou look at Posey and (Hunter) Pence and (Joaquin) Arias. Weve scored runsthis month where last year, we had a hard time.

The nagging hand injury to Carlos Beltran certainly crushedthem a year ago.

That hurt us, and Ive said that, Bochy said. He did agreat job for us, but when we lost him for 15 days, that hurt and itcomplicated our problems scoring runs.

Why were they unable to weather Beltran last year buttheyve been able to thrive without Cabrera, the major league leader in runsand hits when he got popped?

In a word: Buster.

Dont forget, he was just starting to put weight on hissurgically repaired ankle at this time a year ago.

There are still concessions to that awful collision May 25,2011. Posey does not camp out in front of the plate. He is instructed to standwell in front of it when he receives throws and reach back to make swipe tags.

Thats what he was trying to do in the third inning, butStarlin Castro knocked it out of his glove.

It didnt really stick in my pocket, said Posey, whoreceived the throw after Wellington Castillo hit a double that littered ivyfrom the left field wall. It was pinched, almost, and when I went to tag, heknocked it out.

Thats when it became apparent to everyone in the FriendlyConfines that Bumgarner wasnt backing up the plate. Castillo took third on thethrow, and scored easily.

Bumgarner was frustrated that he had two outs and the basesempty, then made a pair of 0-2 mistakes for hits (including Alfonso Sorianostwo-run home run), and he allowed himself to get distracted.

I was acting like a baby, getting stubborn with myself,said Bumgarner, who put the Giants in a 5-0 hole before leaving for a pinchhitter in the fifth. It cost us another run. So obviously, you never want todo that. Wont happen again.

Bumgarner will turn the page, as will everyone else asSeptember begins. By the time this weekend is over, the Giants will have played12 road games out of 16. And a Labor Day matinee looms Monday at AT&T Park,too which could be a bear if the remnants of Hurricane Isaac force delays oreven a doubleheader on Sunday.

The Giants are sure to be weary before they get their next break inthe schedule on Thursday. But this is no time to cool down.

I think were all playing with a lot of confidence rightnow, Posey said. This is the time you work so hard for. Its just a fun time.I feel like guys are coming to the ballpark excited each day and lookingforward to going out there and competing.

Posey said hell have enough in his tank to finish strong.

Good, I feel good, he said. Theres going to be thingsthat come up. Its a case of managing them and going out and competing.