Posey: 'There's still some work to do but I was very happy'

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Posey: 'There's still some work to do but I was very happy'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Buster Posey caught Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in the bullpen area. He did some blocking drills. He practiced hopping out of his crouch to throw. Then he belted a few batting-practice cookies onto the grass beyond the left field fence.It was an absolutely normal morning for a catcher on the first workout day of the spring. None of it would be remarkable if not for one terrible collision the night of May 25, and the months of rehab that followed.No, there was no discernable change in Poseys actions or swing under the Arizona sky on Sunday. The difference will be more evident Monday, when Posey wont go through the same full routine. The Giants want him to rest his rebuilt leg and ankle.

How does Posey feel about the abundance of caution? Was there ever a time that he considered just quitting as a catcher for a safer place on the field? (Yes, actually.) Has he talked to Scott Cousins, the Florida Marlins rookie who ran him over? (Nope.) Could he beat Pat Burrell in a race? (Duh.)Posey answered that and more when he met with a large media contingent, including most of the national outlets that cover baseball.The State of Buster follows:Q: Are you keeping the two-piece mask?
A: I'm just going to play with it all spring, see how I like it. If I do I'll keep it. If not I know I'm comfortable with the hockey style.Q: You did everything in your workout today. How did it compare to what youve been doing on your own?
A: I'd say it's pretty comparable. Obviously it's a little bit different, the intensity's a little bit higher, there's a little bit of adrenaline being out here with the rest of the guys, it being the first day. I was really happy with the way everything felt.Q: Tim Lincecum says he can see that youre ready.
A: Yeah, I think sometime probably in January I kind of just got past a certain point where I felt ready. I was glad to have that feeling. I think it took my ankle getting to a certain point and feeling good to be ready to get back out and do this stuff.Q: Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy say they'll keep you in check with some things ... understandable?
A: Absolutely. The overall goal is to be ready opening day and then from there be back behind the plate as much as I can. I understand and I think we're all on the same page with it. I've got to stay as productive as possible, whether that's taking a blow here or there or playing first (base) every once in a while, whatever that may be. The goal I think is still to catch as many games as I can.Q: Is it hard to take tomorrow off from catching bullpens?
A: No, I don't think so because they've laid out a plan for me. Everything we've done so far has gone great. I trust (Dave Groeschner) and the training staff. I'm going to stick with what they give me. We have plenty of time still. There's no point in trying to do it all in the first two days.Q: What will you do tomorrow?
A: I don't think I'm catching pens tomorrow. I'll do everything else.Q: Could you sense what this meant to the team having you back?
A: I don't know. I tried to keep it as normal as possible and treat it like the first day of camp. Everybody's excited regardless. It was special for me because I've put in a lot of work to get back to this point and this is just another step. There's still some work to do but I was very happy with today.Q: How does the ankle feel day-in and day-out?
A: It feels good, progressively better and better, and really, it's a little sore when I wake up but other than that after a few steps it feels normal.Q: In January you reached a point ... what was that all about?
A: I don't know. I don't think it was that I got past a certain pain threshhold. I don't know, it's tough to explain. I kind of felt that hunger to want to be back out more so, not that I didn't feel it before but I really started getting excited. I told my wife it was a good feeling to have because that's what you're always looking for as a player, you want to have that passion to be out there.Q: Will you be able to program yourself not to make the one play that could hurt you again?
A: It's tough to answer that question. When you're playing a game you're doing everything you can to make certain plays and I think that to answer that it comes down to the preparation you put in now, early work and what not. I'm hopeful it's something like before, you're trying to get the guy out. It's that simple.Q: Bruce said he talked about that to you, was he straightforward in telling you not to block the plate?
A: Yeah, I think that's what we're going to do. But I want to make it clear I wasn't blocking the plate to begin with. That's the dicey part I guess is figuring where you've got to be to somewhat avoid that. I have to be instinctual, that's the way I play the game. I try to play off instincts. Some of those instincts come off your preparation and that's why we're going to put in a lot of work this spring.Q: Do you hope for rules changes to protect catchers?
A: You know, I don't know. I'm going to leave that to those people who make those decisions on the rules and we'll see. I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine.Q: You seemed to stay out of the hard feelings part of this in aftermath of the collision, whether it be Scott Cousins or what Brian Sabean had to say. Is that just your personality or was it needed distance?
A: I think some of both. I think you're right on. The biggest thing for me back then and now is looking forward and being positive and trying to get ready for another season. Just keeping that positive outlook.Q: Do you accept the fact Cousins is truly sorry this happened?
A: Do I accept it? Sure. I do.Q: Have you talked?
A: No.Q: No need?
A: I don't think so. I mean it's one of those things. Usually I just hear it from you guys (in the media), but I heard he called over the night it happened but I was probably getting X-rays and from then other than hearing you guys say he's tried to make contact, I don't know.Q: Is there something youve learned about yourself since that day?
A: I think it's just a greater appreciation for doing what I do, just enjoying this, being out here today catching a couple of pens and maybe some of the not-so-glamorous stuff of a catcher's job - enjoying that stuff a little bit more and just knowing that it can be gone quick and enjoying every bit of it.Q: Was there a moment or two today when you said, "This is really cool?
A: Not really. It's all of it. Just enjoying every bit of it.Q: Did you notice the fan reaction today after your first BP round?
A: Yeah. That was pretty cool. The fans are great. They've been great throughout the whole process.Q: You caught Lincecum twice last week; how did he look to you today?
A: Good. It was coming out nice and easy. He just threw fastball-changeup but everything looked free and easy.Q: How does your swing feel now?
A: It feels good. I've been hitting here in Arizona in October, then took a little time off and started hitting again back home right at the first of the year.Q: Even if you don't play a lot during the first week of exhibitions, which Bochy has said, is it important for you to play in that first game March 3?
A: That's something I kind of mentioned to them, just because from sitting out so much, I want to get back in there. I don't want to sit in that first one. So that's something we're going to play by ear. If it is something I can do, I'll be fired up about that. But, if not, it's not the end of the world either.Q: Long term, are you fine about playing first base?
A: The way I see it is I'm not going to lie. There were some thoughts a couple of months after, well, maybe it wouldn't be bad to move. But then the more I thought about it, I realized how much I enjoy catching. As hard as I'm going to work and have worked and am going to continue to work to get back behind the plate, I want to catch for as long as I possibly can.Q: How would you describe the pull of catching?
A: It's hard to explain, but there's a lot. Working with our staff is great, from all the starters all the way through the relievers to the closer. Just the preparation. I think, for me, I like the little adjustments throughout the game where you attack a hitter one way one time and you have to change it up the second, third, fourth time through. Just the little stuff, I think.Q: Is there any position where you wouldn't feel comfortable?
A: Yeah -- center field, left field, right fieldQ: You haven't played any outfield?
A: No. I'm too slow. Well, Burrell played out there, soQ: Has taking care of your twins become part of exercise regimen?
A: Yes. You have to use your legs when you pick them up.Q: Did snapping out of a catcher's crouch feel natural?
A: Yeah. I did a little bit of that today in our drills and it felt great.Q: All things considered, do you feel "normal"?
A: Yeah. I think so. I feel good.Q: Have you watched the replay of collision much, or do you try to avoid it?
A: No, I watched it. I haven't had a problem watching it. I told somebody the other day, (Arizona shortstop) Stephen Drew got hurt and he basically did the same thing (to his ankle). It made my stomach turn watching him but I can watch mine and it doesn't bother me. I don't know why. Just going through it, I kind of know what it felt like, I guess.Q: You had some pop in your bat today.
A: Thank you! ... Even back in Arizona I felt pretty good after not hitting for four or five months. I guess I'm just blessed, in a sense, that I enjoy this game.Q: You own Ron Wotus.
A: Four-seamer, coming at 55, I tend to square that one up.

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

BOX SCORE

Madison Bumgarner was back on the hill Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL on April 21 due to a dirt bike accident

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”