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SAN FRANCISCO Call it the Case of the Curious Batterymate.
The burning topic on the pregame show continues to be TimLincecum, Buster Posey and why they aren't working together from a distance of 60 feet, 6 inches.
Once again Tuesday night, Lincecum worked with backup catcher Hector Sanchez. The situation is beyond curious for the faithful and those who cover the team, and its only going to amplify with the national press as we beginto speculate about things like postseason rosters, lineups and the like.
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I really cant tell you if there is some kind of riftbetween Lincecum and Posey, but its pretty clear that this goes much deeperthan Bochys explanation that hes trying to keep his cleanup hitter fresh.
If I had to speculate, knowing their personalities a bit,this is what Id tell you:
Posey has always struck me as a honor-roll student, someone who pores over and follows thescouting reports, and wants to pitch to each hitters weaknesses. Lincecum, as we know, ismore about jazz improvisation on the mound, finding his own way whiledetermining what pitches are working on a given night. Maybe those twoapproaches can be less than compatible at times.
Sanchez, we know, has more of a lets go get em mentality when he straps on the shinguards. Lincecum draws energy from an animated presence behind the plate. And if Lincecum hadnt been able to establish a rapport with the young catcher, Bochy wouldnt have the choice. He'd have to pair Posey withhis two-time Cy Young Award winner.
"Its a great point, Bochy said. Hector is doing a nicejob throwing and receiving and calling the game. I think theyre compatiblewith each other and thats one reason lately youve seen Hector back there forthe most part.
Lincecum, both publicly and privately, has vowed that he hasno issue with Posey catching him. Posey has said there is no problem on his end, either. Both players have trustworthy reputations.
While it's unfair to read anything beyond his words, Lincecum offers nothing but praise for Sanchez.
He has a knack for what Im going to go to, Lincecum said.Ive beaten the (stuffing) out of him at times and he keeps going back thereand catching. Hes doing a great job for myself and for the team.
One other issue that looms for postseason play: We've seen that Sanchez iswilling to station himself in front of the plate with a runner bearing down onhim. Posey, under orders from above, stands well into fair territory when hereceives the ball and then tries to reach back with a swipe tag. The Giantshave allowed probably a half-dozen runs this season out of an abundance ofcaution -- understandable, to be sure, given Poseys catastrophic collision last year that left him unable towalk for four months.
But will that devil's bargain extend into the postseason?
In the playoffs, one run can make all the difference. Everygame in the 2010 NLDS against Atlanta, for instance, was a one-run affair. Sothat might be one more reason Bochy will give thought to having Sanchez catchLincecum andor Barry Zito in the postseason, and put Posey at first base.
We'll have to wait and see.
Angel Pagan tied and broke Willie Maysfranchise record for triples on the last road trip.
On Tuesday night, he got a taste of what it might have feltand sounded like if hed done it at home.
Pagan extended his own San Francisco-era franchise record inthe eighth inning when he hit his 14th triple, and the selloutcrowd met the moment with a standing ovation. Pagan tipped his helmet toacknowledge it.
Oh definitely, a special moment for me at least to get onemore in front of them, said Pagan, who has hit seven of his triples atAT&T Park and seven on the road. Theyve shown me a lot of support, so Idedicate it to them.
Pagans helmet tip was a nice gesture. But plate umpireAngel Hernandez thought less of the way Pagan flipped his bat high in the airafter striking out on a called pitch to end a rally in the sixth inning.
Hernandez told Pagan that he drew a fine for an equipmentviolation, but Pagan misunderstood and thought he had been ejected. Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy rushed out as the conversation became animated, trying toensure his center fielder wouldnt actually draw the thumb.
He was animated but he just wanted to talk it out, Bochysaid. He didnt realize it (the equipment violation) was automatic. Hesintense. He just thought it was unfair. He was upset at himself, not the call.
Said Pagan: I flipped my bat and was going to flip myhelmet and go to center field. I wasnt showing anybody up.
Maybe he didnt realize he flipped his bat so high in theair.
Gregor Blanco came off the bench and hit a double. He alsoplayed catch in the outfield. Hes good to start, and Xavier Nady had a nicegame as well. So consider that left field platoon an active situation.
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