EXTRA BAGGS: Buster Posey, the understated showman


EXTRA BAGGS: Buster Posey, the understated showman

SAN FRANCISCO Great players know when the curtain rises.And although Buster Posey is still a pup when it comes to major league servicetime, there isnt a soul in the city who wouldnt call Posey a great player.

So when he steadied himself and dug into the batters boxFriday afternoon, his skin still prickling after absorbing the warmestwelcome-back ovation of his life, Posey did not surprise anyone with what hedid next.

He made a circle-sized pock mark on the center field wall, 390 feet away.His soaring double scored the Giants first run in a home-opening 5-0 victoryover the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I dont think Buster gets very nervous, said right-handerMatt Cain, who was in lockstep with Posey while throwing a one-hit shutout.Hes very even-keel. Even if he is nervous, he wont let you know it.

But you could definitely see he had some energy with him.

Posey played his first regular-season game at China Basinsince the night of May 25, when he clutched the dirt in agony after rippingthree ankle ligaments and fracturing his leg in a targeted collision at theplate.

The fans stood and applauded him like he was returning fromoverseas. In a sense, he was.

I tried to enjoy it as much as I could, Posey said. Itwas a lot of work to get back here. So I tried to soak it up.

You want Cain facts? You got Cain facts!

--He threw his fifth career shutout. This was the thirdone-hitter.
RELATED: Cain gives fair value on near-perfect afternoon

--Hes the first Giant since Hooks Wiltse in 1908 to beseparated from a perfect game by just one hit to the opposing pitcher. The lastmajor leaguer with such a game was the Padres Jimmy Jones, who gave up just atriple to Houstons Bob Knepper on Sept. 21, 1986. (Courtesy: Trent McCrotter,SABR.)

--Hes the first Giant to go the distance and yield his onlyhit to the opposing pitcher since Hal Schumacher in 1935. (And darn you,Orville Jorgens!)

--He joined Jonathan Sanchez (in his 2009 no-hitter) asthe only Giants in San Francisco history to throw a shutout, allow one hit orless, walk none and strike out at least 10. (Dave Feldman noodled that one.)

--The Giants have two complete-game shutouts in theirfirst seven games (Cain, Barry Zito) for the first time since Jim Barr and JohnMontefusco in 1975. Some guys named Marichal and Perry did it in 71, too.(Another Feldy gem).

--For the second consecutive day, a Giants pitcher lost a no-hitter in the sixth inning to the No.9 hitter. Spooky. A day earlier at Coors Field, Tyler Colvin (who entered on a double switch) tripled off Madison Bumgarner.

Cain said from the first interview of FanFest that he wasenthusiastic about the Giants new-look lineup, even if the outside view wasntso rosy. Cain kept telling anyone who would listen that he didnt expect to bechronically malnourished for run support, as hes been in the past.

Well, its early. But the Giants are now 7-for-7 in scoringat least four runs. Thats something they did in just 39.5 percent of theirgames last season.

Its huge and Ive said this from Day One: These guys weadded at the front of the lineup will be huge for us, Cain said of MelkyCabrera and Angel Pagan. You get Pablo (Sandoval) and Buster behind these twoguys and its going to be fun.

Pagan was 0 for 4 but made two hard outs and contributed afine running catch in center field. Cabreras contributions are lessunderstated. Hes hit safely in all seven games, and has multiple hits in fiveof them.

Cabrera also jammed his hand when he slid headfirst into catcherRod Barajas leg while scoring from first base on Poseys double. Shortly afterthat, he received instructions from the coaching staff.

I wont slide headfirst at home plate any more, saidCabrera through an interpreter. They told me not to.

Cabrera added that he was fine.

Last year, Aubrey Huff didnt hit his first home run atAT&T Park until May 11. This season, he only needed four plate appearancesto deposit one in the arcade.

Bochy is taking a lot of heat for the way hes handlingBrandon Belt, especially after promising to give his opening-day first basemana long leash. But Bochy likes the way Huff is swinging the bat, and he wantshis most confident hitters to stay out there.

Theres a lot of confidence in Huff right now.

Ive played the game long enough to know youll have goodyears and great years, Huff said. Last year was a terrible year.

Last years over.

It was noted that Hector Sanchez, not Posey, warmed up Cainin the bullpen. That might have had something to do with the case of shinglesthat Posey is fighting through. But Bochy also said its a way to speed upSanchezs familiarity with everyone on the staff.

Posey said the Giants had him skip a few pregame bullpenslast year, too.

Its just a matter of trying to save my legs through thecourse of the year, he said.

The Giants staged their second ever home opener on Fridaythe 13th. This one went better than the previous one a loss to thePadres in 1990.

Not surprised to see Mike Fontenot get picked up by thePhillies, even if its just on a minor league contract. Hes still got gameleft, even if he wasnt a fit with the Giants.

They werent World Series champions (by the slimmest ofmargins), but I have to think the 1962 team is the best ever assembled in SanFrancisco. It was quite a gathering on the field during pregame ceremonies.Many folks forget that Don Larsen, who is better known for his perfect game forthe Yankees in the 1956 World Series, was part of that 62 Giants team.

Larsen was on hand. And if Cain had thrown a perfect game,how crazy would that be for coincidences?

The Giants found a fitting person to throw out theceremonial first pitch. It was Bryan Stows son, Tyler. Then the team made surethe moment was done right. All the players came out of the dugout and formed asemi-circle around him.

RELATED: Bryan Stow, son team up for Giants' first pitch
It turned even more emotional when Stow appeared live viasatellite with his mother, and held out a baseball to Tyler. Good luck, son,he said.

Tyler didnt stand in front of the mound. He threw a full 60feet, 6 inches. And it was a strong heave that snapped in the glove. He did hisdad proud, all right.

I dont think there was a guy on our team that wasnttrying to hold back tears, Huff said.

Something I didnt expect to see today: Groundskeeperswatering the infield an hour before the first pitch. What a gloomy forecast.What a glorious day.

Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade


Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

The teams announced the deal after their games Friday night. The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs this year.

Los Angeles is running away with the NL West. The Dodgers are 86-34 after Friday's win at Detroit . Granderson gives Los Angeles another option for the outfield along with Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

Pederson has been struggling quite a bit of late, hitting .149 since the All-Star break. Granderson, like Pederson, offers some power from the left side of the plate.

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth


SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Moore took his time walking off the mound after Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to replace him in the eighth inning.

Moore wanted to enjoy the ovation from the crowd at AT&T Park, something he hadn't heard for quite some time.

Moore took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and picked up his first win in nearly two months as San Francisco beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2 on Friday night.

"It's something that I think is one of the coolest parts about playing here, is just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill," Moore said. "It was definitely nice to have that."

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford both homered, Pablo Sandoval had an RBI single and Denard Span added three hits and made a nice running catch in center field to help San Francisco to its ninth win in the last 12 games at AT&T Park.

One day after becoming the first team in major league history to reach 11,000 wins as a franchise, the Giants added on by beating the worst team in baseball again.

Moore (4-12) was crisp in his second straight strong start despite four walks, allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time since June 20.

"He's got a good rhythm going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's playing catch with (catcher Buster Posey), that's the effort he's putting in it right now. I think it's helped his command on all his pitches."

Moore credited a calmer approach in his last two starts.

"For a lot of the season I was overthrowing," Moore said. "It's just too much to be gritting that much through. After the break that was something I was working on, making sure I'm not white-knuckling too much stuff."

Four relievers combined for five outs to complete the four-hitter.

Jorge Alfaro singled twice and scored for Philadelphia.

Pence doubled and scored as part of a three-run first inning, then hit his 11th home run in the second.

Crawford tacked on with a two-run home run in the third, his 10th, after Sandoval walked. Crawford, who also doubled in the eighth, had been in a 2-for-22 slump.

Philadelphia didn't get a runner past second base until the eighth when Freddy Galvis singled in both runs.

"We got four hits (and) Alfaro had two of them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The bats just ain't there right now."


Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings for the Phillies and later complained of tightness in his right shoulder. Eflin has lost two of three starts since a two-month stint in the minors. "As the fifth inning came to an end it was more of a precautionary thing to come out because it wasn't feeling right at that point," Eflin said.


Posey has hit safely in 20 straight games against Philadelphia, the longest hitting streak of his career against any team.


Phillies: Mackanin's ballclub was one player short after the team placed OF Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in a move that is retroactive to Aug. 15. Herrera has a 17-game hitting streak that is the longest active in the majors. A corresponding move is expected before Saturday's game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Cueto also threw a 50-pitch bullpen during the team's recent three-game series in Miami. ... 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) and 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) both did cardio work before the game.


Phillies RHP Jerad Eickoff (3-7, 4.45 ERA) makes his second start against the Giants this season Saturday while San Francisco counters with LHP Ty Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA). Blach blanked Philadelphia with a seven-hitter on June 2.