Posey no speed demon, but pleased with baserunning

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Posey no speed demon, but pleased with baserunning

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Buster Posey tested his left ankle by running bases on a back field Tuesday morning, and it was clear he felt good about the results.

Asked what percentage effort he was giving, Posey ribbed a reporter by turning the question around.

"How hard do you think I was running?" he said, smiling.

OK, Posey won't pretend his top speed will trigger any sonic booms this season. He finally estimated he was running at 60 to 70 percent. Significantly, he hit the bag with both feet as he ran to first base, then practiced going first-to-third and second-to-home.

Posey had been running curves but hadn't taken the sharper angles around the bases for more than a week.

REWIND: EXTRAS -- Posey's baserunning still a concern

"There was definitely a significant improvement today from then," he said. "It's how my rehab has gone. When I challenge it to do more things, it progressively gets better and better each time I do it."

Posey is expected to run bases again on Wednesday; it was a good sign that he pushed it Tuesday morning after running curves the previous night.

The Giants could use him as a designated hitter as early as Friday. But Posey won't play until he and the Giants are confident and comfortable he can handle all aspects of the game in an uncontrolled environment without hesitation.

"When you're playing the game, you've got to play the game," he said. "So much of my game is instincts, anyway. When you're out there, your instincts will take over."

Those instincts will include hitting the bag in stride -- whether that's with his good ankle or not.

"In a perfect world, I'd hit it with my right foot every time," Posey said. "But that's not going to happen. ... You want to stay in stride regardless of whether it's right or left.

"I'm happy I've been able to do baseball activities. We knew from the time I was injured (May 25) that bases would be the last thing to come. We've been lucky everything has gone as smoothly as it has."

Posey acknowledged he was "itching to get in a game. At the same time, we've played four. Today's the fifth. So there's still plenty of time."

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Mired in a big slump, rookie Christian Arroyo is getting a night off, while Nick Hundley is catching in place of Buster Posey Saturday.

Atlanta Braves:
1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Tyler Flowers (R) C
7. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
8. Danny Santana (S) 3B
9. Mike Foltynewicz (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
3. Joe Panik (L) 2B
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Aaron Hill (R) 3B
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Mac Williamson (R) RF
9. Ty Blach (R) P

 

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.

At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs. 

“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said. 

The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still. 

The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper. 

“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”

That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league. 

Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored. 

“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”