Posey makes All-Star voting history


Posey makes All-Star voting history

SAN FRANCISCO Buster Posey couldnt walk at this time ayear ago. Many wondered if hed ever catch again.

Now hes going to start behind the plate for the NationalLeague in the All-Star Game.

Posey didnt just hold off the Cardinals Yadier Molina to winthe balloting at his position. He didnt just lead all NL players with7,621,370 votes. His total was the highest by an NL player in history.

Yeah, its kind of hard to wrap my head around it rightnow, Posey said.

Giants fans stuffed the ballot box at every position toelect outfielder Melky Cabrera and third baseman Pablo Sandoval. But thesupport was even broader for Posey, whose comeback from last years devastatingankle injury resonated with fans outside San Francisco as well.
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Did Posey ever envision being an All-Star during those threemonths after he broke his leg, tore three ankle ligaments and required tworeconstructive surgeries?

Ah, probably not, Posey said. At this point last year Iwas concerned with getting healthy and getting back on the field. Thats whyIm enjoying every bit of this season.

Im obviously really excited. Its little overwhelming. Ijust thank all the fans that voted. Theyre the ones who make this special forus. Its gonna be a blast. You dont think about it that much, but when ithappens, its humbling. As long as I can remember, I watched the All-Star Gameand the home run derby. Its a bit surreal to think Ill be in one.

Theres plenty surreal about catching a knuckleball,and Posey will have to learn quickly. Theres a good chance hell catch theMets R.A. Dickey, who is among the top candidates to start the game.

RELATED: Giants fans rock the vote, elect three All-Star starters

Who knows? Maybe Giants right-hander Matt Cain, anotherAll-Star, should start throwing a knuckler so Posey can practice.

Right? Cain said. I was telling him, Youd better startworking on it, learn how to block it.

Said Posey: Well see what happens.

Posey entered Sunday with a .298 average, 10 home runs and41 RBIs. Molina, who was named as a reserve, was hitting .312 with 13 homers.Philadelphias Carlos Ruiz is having a better season than either of them; heleads the NL with a .356 average and has 11 homers with 43 RBIs.

Ruiz was named as a reserve as well.

But they dont have Poseys story of perseverance, whichclearly mattered to voters. Hes the Giants first NL top vote getter sinceBarry Bonds.

Hes a great player whos beloved in this city, Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy said.

The Giants have done their best to pace Posey, starting himat first base 10 times and four more at designated hitter.

Physically, I feel great, Posey said. Its kind of hardto believe were almost at the halfway point. Im excited for the second half.In six or eight weeks, its going to get really fun coming down the wire andIm looking forward to it.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs


At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.