Giants notes: Posey would love to match Bonds, etc.

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Giants notes: Posey would love to match Bonds, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO Its so easy to forget that this is BusterPoseys first start-to-finish, full season in the major leagues.

Like all catchers, he has taken his share of shots and hits right through the celebratory scrum after the Giants clinched the NL Westtitle Saturday night.

Who was Posey punching in the pile?

Affeldt, Posey said, grinning. He was jabbing me in theribs so I had to get him back.

Posey is out of the lineup Sunday, along with nearly all theregulars. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he couldnt pass up the chance togive his everyday players a 48-hour break to recharge, but he plans to havemost of his regulars back in Tuesdays lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That includes Posey, who estimated he likely would start eight of thefinal nine games of the season.

Ive never been in that position, Posey said. You want tostay sharp and at the same time, you have an opportunity to get some rest. Idthink you want to take advantage of it.

Posey usually deflects personal goals, but he offered aquick absolutely when asked if hed be motivated to get the three RBIs heneeds for 100. Hed be the first Giant to drive in 100 runs since Barry Bondsin 2004.

In fact, chasing a few carrots here and there might help theteam keep its edge.

BAGGARLY: Bochy -- 'Fair to say' Zito will be on playoff roster

Itd be nice, Posey said. We accomplished our main goal,which was to get in the playoffs. I think personally, its important to keepthat same feel youve had all year.

It isnt just Poseys reconstructed left ankle that hasposed a challenge this season. He has caught 941 innings this season; hisprevious high was 662 innings in 2010, although he also started 32 games atTriple-A Fresno that season.

Two or three times my body has not felt good at all,whether its the travel or some other reason said Posey, who had a bout ofshingles in the first half in addition to the usual aches and pains associatedwith catching. Whether its four or five days or a week, you kind of come outof it. Ive learned how to keep grinding, make sure you get your rest and eatwell.

Bochy has been in this position before. His 1998 Padresclinched in the 149th game three games earlier than these Giants.Although San Diego went 4-9 down the stretch that season, they got past theHouston Astros and Atlanta Braves to advance to the World Series.

So Bochy has a good idea how it needs to work over theselast nine games.

Im aware of that and I think this team is aware of that,he said. Thats why these guys are going to play and theyre going to pitch.Past today, were not going to shut it down.

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Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro were in most need of a rest,Bochy said. But shortstop Brandon Crawford has been playing with a tenderhamstring, too. So he also welcomed a chance to take a break.

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Lost in the hubbub of Saturdays clincher was Brandon Beltsfirst opposite-field home run at AT&T Park.

Oh, I enjoyed that, he said.

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What did Bochy think of Pablo Sandovals diving catch intothe stands Saturday?

Its good to have a little extra cushion, the managersaid.

In the standings, too.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

READ MORE AT CSNChicago.com

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants were annoyed by Monday’s “rubbing teammates the wrong way” report for a number of reasons, but near the top of the list was the fact that the target, Mark Melancon, has been pitching hurt to try and help a last-place team. That’s no longer the case. 

Melancon went on the DL on Wednesday morning and later had a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in his right arm to try and ease some of the discomfort in his pronator. He is expected to be out the rest of the first half. Melancon would be eligible to return with two games left until the break, but there’s no point in rushing him. He missed 12 games the first time this came up and he now has more than two weeks to rest before the second half kicks off. 

In the meantime, Sam Dyson is the closer, but he was unavailable Wednesday because of a heavy workload. So Bruce Bochy got creative to close out a 5-3 win over the Rockies. George Kontos came on for a sharp Ty Blach in the seventh and carried the lead to the eighth. Steven Okert got through the 26th out and Hunter Strickland came in to get Ian Desmond to fly out for his first save of the year. 

Because Bochy wanted Kontos to face Pat Valaika in the eighth, he got an at-bat 15 hours after Cory Gearrin got to take his hacks. It at first looked like Kontos had “don’t swing” orders, but he fouled a ball off. 

“The second fastball I got, if it was near the plate, I was going to swing,” he said. 

Kontos said he doesn’t have bragging rights over Gearrin because he fouled a ball off, noting that Gearrin is 1 for 2 in his career and he is 0 for 8. It turns out that they used the same bat, too. Yes, there is a Cory Gearrin model.

“It’s just been hanging out since last year,” Gearrin said, looking down at his equipment bag. “Just in case.”

--- Dan Slania woke up a 4:30, drove to Philadelphia, and boarded a flight that was went down through Nashville to fuel up. He arrived in San Francisco in time for the second inning. And then he watched, met with old teammates, showered … and prepared to fly all the way back to Pennsylvania. 

“I’m going to pass out as soon as I get on the plane,” Slania said. 

He wasn’t complaining at all. The Giants needed a potential innings-eater with Melancon on the DL, and if Slania is sent back down before Friday’s game, he’ll at least be back near Double-A Richmond and the flight back will have been taken on a chartered jet with a bunch of former teammates. Plus he gets a couple of service days. 

“I can tell you it’s well worth it,” Bochy said. 

--- The main story today is about Jae-gyun Hwang, who brought some more life to a team that got its first sweep of the year. The standings are what they are, but the Giants are playing much better, and some players started talking Wednesday about how they’re looking forward to being a spoiler for teams like the Rockies and Diamondbacks. 

More than anything, the players are just happy that they got to listen to the victory soundtrack again and walk out of this park with smiles. 

“We did a really good job of coming into this series and decided what the intent should be,” Nick Hundley said. “We weren’t going to worry about what’s been going on. You control what you can control. It’s nice when the results match up.”

There was a players-only meeting on Monday and Hundley said “everybody got on the same page again.”

Now the tricky part: Keeping it going on the road. 

--- Nolan Arenado is a freak and the Giants should give him a blank check, a ton of Facebook stock, and the rights to the Salesforce building when he’s a free agent in two and a half seasons. 

--- Ryder Jones is hitless in 16 at-bats but he was keeping his head up. He was an inch or two from a double down the line Wednesday and the Giants feel he’s having good at-bats. More than anything, he's not taking those results into the field and he talked about that at length when we sat down for a podcast the other day. If you subscribe on iTunes here, you’ll have it in the morning.