Joseph impresses Bochy with two HR day


Joseph impresses Bochy with two HR day

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As a catcher, Tommy Joseph has a long way to go to passBuster Posey on the Giants depth chart.But after a two homer game Saturday in Scottsdale, Joseph is starting to makehis manager take notice.Wow, Bruce Bochy said after watching Joseph deposit two fastballs over the left-field fence in a split squad win over the Brewers. Hes making the most of theat-bats hes getting and what a day for him. A 20-year-old kid that reallyhandles himself well here and hes getting quality at-bats.Joseph is getting more at-bats as Posey is eased back into regular playingtime, and hes taking advantage. Hes also learning a lot from the Giants starcatcher. After getting hammered in the helmet by teammates following his 3rdinning home run, Posey gave Joseph some advice.RELATED: Giants split; beat Brewers, fall to Angels
Buster was giving me a hard time, Joseph said. He waslike you gotta learn to take your helmet off before you get in the dugout soyou dont start getting wailed.The way he was smiling after the game, Joseph will gladly take a beating if itmeans more days like Saturday.

It feels really good, Joseph said. Scottsdale is my home so I get to do itin front of my friends and family everyday. So to do that in front of them wasreally special.Joseph said he had eight friends and family members at Scottsdale Stadium for agame in which he started as the designated hitter. He was moved to catcher inthe seventh inning and told me that he was glad to get the chance to playdefense as well.I have more funcatching than hitting or anything else, Joseph said. Its way more fun tocatch a no-hitter or a shutout, you know, to do things for your pitcher I thinkis cooler than hitting home runs.NEWS: Wilson set to make Cactus League debut Sunday
Joseph admitted hes never had the honor of catching ano-hitter, but if he make it to the big leagues, hed be working with astarting staff that would give him a good shot at it. While his youth andposition hurt his chances of making the roster, theres no doubt that hes madean impression on Bochy, a former catcher himself.We think a lot of him, Bochy said. Ive talked about these young catchers,and hes certainly one of them, that we think a lot of. I like the way hescatching too, not just swinging the bat, and its good for him to get someat-bats up here and get some confidence.Joseph, who now has four hits in nine at-bats with six RBIs this spring, was happy that he could put on a show in front of Bochy.Its always nice as a minor leaguer to do it in front ofthe big-league manager, Joseph said. Im just trying to stay within myselfand work on things and just learn. Thats a huge part of being up here with allthese guys. I try to take things from everybody. Success is just a plus.

In Bay Area, bad teams get dismissed in most passive-aggressive way of all


In Bay Area, bad teams get dismissed in most passive-aggressive way of all

There is no reason for us to waste your time by selling you on the last week of the baseball season. Being in the playoffs, or on their edge, makes the first 24 weeks well worth the slog, as you all remember from 2014 and as Giants fans remember from last year.

But for those towns in which doom has already been applied – say, like Oakland and San Francisco, just to name two we can drive to – the baseball season died awhile ago. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge and Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber and the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals – they are all a gray, indistinct blur that doesn’t touch us all that much.

As a result, all the notions in the middle of the decade that this is actually a baseball area turned out to be wrong again. What we are – what we have always been – is a great place for front-running.

Just like almost every other town in America.

There are few towns where this is untrue. St. Louis for the Cardinals, Green Bay for the Packers, Pittsburgh for the Steelers, Toronto for the Maple Leafs, Dallas for the Cowboys, Philadelphia for the Eagles, Los Angeles for the Lakers – they all maintain their audiences in good times and bad, both through hinders in seats and eyes on sets.

Here, though, bad teams get dismissed in the most passive-aggressive way of all. We stop attending, watching or talking about them and find other things to do with ourselves, which I would suggest is probably the healthier way to approach entertainment that doesn’t entertain. And because we are also incredibly provincial, we won’t pay attention to those people who are enjoying the week because in our collective world view, any party we’re not at is just people milling about.

But healthier isn’t always the same as viscerally better. Ignoring the Giants’ ferocious battle with Philadelphia for the first draft pick next year, and marveling at the invisibility of the A’s late-season winning just isn’t as much of a hoot when there are so many teams standing on their necks.

Anyway, there are six more days and then the playoffs begin, and they’ll be fascinating because pennant races always are. You'll all be missed.


Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.

“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”

It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.

“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said. 

Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A. 

Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher. 

“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.