Bochy makes MVP pitch for Posey, delays Melky decision

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Bochy makes MVP pitch for Posey, delays Melky decision

There are still eight games remaining on the Giantsschedule, but that didnt stop manager Bruce Bochy from casting hisnon-existent MVP vote for Buster Posey.To me he is the MVP, Bochy said before Wednesdays gameagainst the Arizona Diamondbacks. Were not in this situation without Buster.Thats how valuable he is to us with the year hes had and being a catcher andhandling the staff and hitting cleanup and all thats thrown at him. Thats notbeing disrespectful to the other guys, but hes my guy. Sure, thats how Ifeel.Posey had an impressive first half en route to an All-Star Game start, thenturned into a different hitter after the Midsummer Classic. Since going 0-for-2with a walk and a run scored in Kansas City, Posey has hit a majorleague-leading .384 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs, 56 RBIs and 39 runs. He isin a race with Pittsburghs Andrew McCutchen for the National League battingtitle and is one RBI away from becoming the first Giant since Barry Bonds in2004 to reach the century club.Hes had an incredible season, especially when you look at what he wentthrough, the long road he had to go down on his rehab, Bochy said. And nowhes looking at getting 100 RBIs.Posey has also played in 141 games, which includes 106 starts at catcher, 27 atfirst base and three as Bochys designated hitter. Those numbers are on thehigh end for any regular catcher, let alone one coming off major surgery.The day off he had a couple days ago, that was his firstday off in 27, 28 games, Bochy said. Its a credit to how well he takes careof himself, how hard he worked on his rehab, our training staff, how hard theyworked with him. It also shows you what an incredible talent that Buster is tomiss all that time and come back this year and put together the season that hehas.For Bochy, Poseys contributions range far beyond the box score.Hes got a calmness about him. Hes not afraid to talk tosomebody if its time to talk to him. And he leads by example. He comes outhere every day ready to go. His preparation before the game, whether itsworking out or studying getting ready for the game.Insider Andrew Baggarly reported Wednesday morning that Melky Cabrera, servingthe tail end of his 50-game suspension for failing a drug test, would not be inthe Giants postseason plans. Bochy would not confirm that the decision hasbeen made yet, but he did offer some clarification on the timeframe for anannouncement.
NEWS: Melky to be left off Giants' playoff roster
Well have something tomorrow, Bochy said. Like I saidyesterday, before we hit the road here, well hopefully get this cleared up andfigure out exactly what were going to do.While Bochy will likely be the one to announce the decision,that doesnt mean hes heavily involved in the debate.Melky, his agent, Im sure they're involved, Bochy said. Imnot in those discussions personally. My focus has been out here. They want toget something done here pretty soon.It would make sense for the Giants to wait until Bochys postgame pressconference Thursday, which would give reporters the least amount of time topepper him with Cabrera-related questions. I know its getting close here and there are different waysto look at this, Bochy said. We have to think about whats best for the club.Guys that are ready and have been playing, things like that. That comes intoit. Whether he could be ready. All these things are being talked about now.Cabrera wouldnt even be eligible to return to the Giants until after theyveplayed five playoff games. That gives Bochy even more time to postpone adecision.Right now, were going to the playoffs, Bochy said. Weregoing to the first round so hes not a part of that. Thats why its kind ofbeen on the back burner, to be honest, for me.The Giants media notes list Sundays starter in San Diegoas TBA. The series finale against the Padres would normally be Tim Lincecumsturn to pitch, but the Giants are likely hoping to give him and the otherstarters some extra rest while also aligning their rotation for the playoffs.Bochy said theres still a chance that Lincecum could pitchSunday, but strongly hinted that wouldnt be the case.Theres a chance Lincecum pitches, Bochy said. Weregoing to leave that open in case we want to tweak the rotation. Thats the luxuryyou have when you clinch early. We havent set that yet and if we want to moveit around, then we have the pitching here that we can do it.Yusmeiro Petit started in place of Lincecum last Sunday, the day after theGiants clinched the division title, and seems to be the most likely candidatefor a spot start again Sunday.Bochy said he was impressed with Petits Giants debut andthat hes being considered for the Sunday start in San Diego."Hes already started one and he did a good job," Bochysaid. "Its nice to have a starter here that you can put in there and give yousome innings and you dont have to chew up your bullpen."

Giants lineup: Belt in left, Posey at first in finale against Rockies

Giants lineup: Belt in left, Posey at first in finale against Rockies

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Giants-Rockies coverage begins at 11am with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the NBC Sports App.

The banged-up Giants are shifting things around as Brandon Belt will patrol left field and Buster Posey will play first base Sunday.

San Francisco Giants:
1. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P

Colorado Rockies:
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF
5. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
6. Gerardo Parra (L) LF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Kyle Freeland (L) P

 

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

DENVER — For the second straight start, Matt Moore watched an outfielder chase down a rocket, slam into the wall, and immediately leave the game with a hurt shoulder. 

“You’ve got to feel a little responsible,” he said Saturday night, shaking his head. 

That’s not entirely fair. The Jarrett Parker and Denard Span injuries have been flukes, but there is a different kind of responsibility for the starting staff. Bobby Evans built this team on the starting five, and through three weeks, the group has been a letdown. 

Madison Bumgarner was hurt during an off-field incident. Johnny Cueto has an uncharacteristic 5.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through four starts. Moore gave up six runs in four innings Saturday, raising his own ERA to 5.87. On the other side, a rookie — Antonio Senzatela — held the Giants to four hits, leading the Rockies to a 12-3 win.

“He just made mistakes. You saw them,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Moore. “They caught too much of the plate and they were up and they took advantage of them. This can be a tough park but they pitched well tonight with a young kid. You’ve got to make your pitches. Keep concentrating and don’t give in. That’s the way it works and we’re not doing a very good job of that.

“Obviously our staff, we’re a much better staff than what’s happened. We’ve got to tighten it up here and wake up. We’re not a team that goes out and pounds it with you. We’ve got to pitch.”

The starting staff, even without Bumgarner, is more important than it first seemed. That's because the rest of the Giants are dropping, too. Span went out in the third when he slammed into the wall while making a catch, and while the initial read is positive, he was going for X-rays Saturday night. At the very least, a right shoulder sprain will keep him out a couple of days. 

That means Bochy, 18 games in, is dealing with one of his Bomb Squad situations. Buster Posey will play first on Sunday after a couple of long days in the squat, and it’s possible Brandon Belt will get a day in left. Gorkys Hernandez, hitting just .088, is the man in center while Span is out. Hunter Pence (knee bruise) is expected to return to right field Sunday, but the outfield is hanging by a string. The Giants have even talked about putting Eduardo Nuñez in left, and on Saturday he played several innings in right because of the Span injury. 

Bochy challenged his starters, but the regulars behind them will need to be better, too. The bats didn’t get going until the eighth inning at Coors Field, and even then, a rally was cut short and the Giants promptly gave up six more runs. Nuñez was late getting over on a pop-up that clanked off Joe Panik’s glove and extended the inning. 

“You’re going to deal with that,” Bochy said. “He’s going to feel discombobulated.”

Bochy had just one positive to point to, and he lit up when asked about Chris Stratton, who threw three hitless innings to keep the Giants within shouting distance. 

“Boy, that kid did a nice job," he said. 

Stratton isn’t far down the depth chart if there are further injuries in the rotation, and with a fastball that touched 95, he looked better than he has in years. The Giants hope they don’t need to test him. They’re banged-up, but at the moment, they still have four of their projected starting pitcher, along with Ty Blach. Without Bumgarner, the group will have to be better, and Bochy let them know it Saturday.