Rewind: Veteran battery boosts balanced Giants to victory

Rewind: Veteran battery boosts balanced Giants to victory
June 6, 2014, 10:45 pm
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The home runs haven't been there, but he's been hitting it hard. He looks good up there. He's a talented hitter. We all have our ups and downs, but it just looked like he saw the ball well tonight.
Bruce Bochy on Buster Posey

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are winning this year with contributions up and down the lineup, and the consensus is that the team could be even better than its 40-21 record suggests if key cogs like former MVP Buster Posey and three-time All-Star Matt Cain play up to their potential. 

On Friday night, they did, and it resulted in another late comeback win for San Francisco.

"We're getting contributions from everybody throughout the lineup," manager Bruce Bochy said after the Giants dispatched the Mets 4-2 in the series opener at AT&T Park Friday night. "Every night it seems like it's somebody different. It's nice to see these guys picking each other up."

[RECAP: Posey vaults Giants past Mets, 4-2]

Though it was Brandon Hicks and Brandon Crawford who delivered the first two runs, it was the veteran battery of Cain and Posey who left the biggest impression.

Cain spoke about the difficulty of finding a rhythm coming off the disabled list, but he looked locked in from the first pitch of the game as he faced the minimum of 18 Mets batters through six innings.

"He was sharp, what a great job tonight," Bochy said. "To miss three turns in your rotation, and go out there and throw the ball like that. … That's a great effort with the time that he's missed."

Though the off speed stuff wasn't its sharpest, Cain called his fastball -- and being able to spot it for strikes -- the key to his strong outing.

As Posey described the heater, it had "as much life on it as it's had in awhile."

Likewise, Posey's bat had more life than it's had in a long time. The Giants three-hitter connected on his first home run since May 3 and his first at home since April 29, and it proved to be the game-winner. It was Posey's fourth career go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later and second this season.

"He's been getting good swings off," Bochy said. "The home runs haven't been there, but he's been hitting it hard. He looks good up there. He's a talented hitter. We all have our ups and downs, but it just looked like he saw the ball well tonight."

In his first two at-bats, Posey lashed singles off Jonathon Niese, who matched Cain in limiting the Giants offensively, holding the home team to five hits over seven innings.

Regarding his dangerous seven-eight combination of Brandons, Bochy -- a day before California Chrome goes for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes -- paralleled Hicks and Crawford to a quiniela -- a bet in which the first two places in a race must be predicted, no matter the order. It was a unique term on this night, when the press box lineups originally had Crawford and Hicks flip-flopped.

Hicks, who came into the game struggling to the tune of 3-for-his-last-29 (.103), was pleased to see results in a multi-hit night.

"I felt like I was finally able to carry some adjustments over into the game," Hicks said, "stuff I've been working on in the cage."

One of those adjustments was staying on top of the ball, and Hicks did that well enough for two extra-base hits, including his first career triple. 

The Giants on Friday became the first MLB team to reach 40 wins this year, and are out to their best start in San Francisco franchise history since the team went 40-20 to start 1962. They're on pace for 106 wins, and it can only help if leaders Buster Posey and Matt Cain find their grove. 

 

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