Buster Posey had the umpires on top of their game and Chicago’s dugout on high alert Tuesday night; it was hard to believe what one of the best players in baseball had accomplished.
The first feat: Posey slammed a first pitch fastball from Jose Quintana high into the left field sky, landing it somewhere between Jon Jay and a reaching fan’s glove. Posey couldn’t believe it, either; he furrowed his brow, but umpire Sam Hollobrock twirled his finger after a review.
The first-inning blast was Posey’s first since July 14, the Giants’ third three-run homer (second this home stand) at AT&T Park this season. Those three runs, it turned out, would be nearly all the Giants needed in a 6-3 win over the Cubs Tuesday night and homer was as unlikely as it looked off the bat, said Posey:
“I thought it would be about where it went.”
Posey’s second unlikely feat topped his first: he stole his fifth base of the season–his career record is six.
Only three other Giants, including departed Eduardo Nunez, have stolen more bases and he’s tied with Denard Span, a fact he made known:
“I told Span ‘I’m tied with you so you better step it up’… Apparently I’m faster than I thought.”
Crawford stole his third base after his RBI single scored Posey, a move inspired by the slow catcher’s sudden surge in the ranks, he’s sure.
One accomplishment that never seemed unlikely came off the mound.
Ty Blach (W, 8-7, 4.15 ERA) did what he’s done all month: make big pitches and bigger outs, said Bruce Bochy:
“He did a good job to minimize the damage tonight– letting one run and getting out of that.”
Blach has now gone (at least) seven innings for a fifth start in a row, this time allowing just two runs on seven hits.
A pair of scoring threats in the fifth and seventh innings couldn’t slow Blach’s motion. Jason Heyward notched an RBI on a groundout and Ian Happ one on a monster double, but Blach coolly weaved himself out of traffic. The MVP Kris Bryant flied out right to end the first, Albert Almora and Heyward grounded out to end the second.
With the three-run homer taken care of early, Blach went back to his clutch hitting roots, knocking a crucial RBI single with Brandon Crawford lingering in scoring position with two outs.
Joe Panik was meant to rest against lefty Quintana, but got the call when Miguel Gomez appeared to have tweaked something running down the line on a groundout in the first. Panik came up with another run, a gift for his manager against a Cubs team we know can rally late.
Bruce Bochy discussed a possible skipped start for a struggling Matt Moore, possibly against first-place Washington Nationals. Moore and Bochy had a talk, and Moore voiced a desire to pitch through the pain, and Bochy agreed:
“Best way to get out of something is to pitch through it.”
Gomez is day to day with a knee injury. Bochy didn’t seem alarmed.