EXTRA BAGGS: Why isn't Posey catching Timmy?


EXTRA BAGGS: Why isn't Posey catching Timmy?

Programming note: Rockies-Giants coverage kicks off tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

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.

RELATED: Lincecum edging closer to readiness

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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Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Eight years ago in this very space, I postulated that Brian Sabean had done a lucrative deal with Satan.Co to win the Giants’ first World Series in 56 years. He never denied it, so I took that as silent affirmation.

Now, it seems Beelzebub has brought the bill, to be paid in full on receipt of same.

The San Francisco Giants, who needed as few things as possible to go wrong to start this season, just got two full-on groin shots in the space of less than a week, the second of which was delivered when Madison Bumgfarner fractured his hand trying to repel a line drive from Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield during Friday’s Cactus League game.

The injury did not look serious at first because, well, because Bumgarner pretends to be made of adamantium, but an X-ray revealed the fracture and though no time for recovery was listed, Bumgarner may return to health before the Giants do.

And yes, I know spring training is no time for fans to lose hope for a cheery season, but you take the fact as they present themselves, and the Giants are already 40 percent down from their projected starting rotation. Jeff Samardzija is already on the disabled list with a hinky pectoral muscle, and as the Giants know all too well, things like this tend to come in sixes, if not eights.

The 2010 Giants hit on every midseason trade and parlayed that good fortune and the assets already on board to a storied October run. A year later, Buster Posey got Scott Cousin-ed, and his broken ankle snapped the team’s hope of repeating.

The Giants then won in 2012 and ’14 without too much incident, but starting midway through 2016, continuing into last year when Bumgarner flipped his dirt bike, and now down to today, it’s been nothing but seeds and stems for Giantvania.

The rumor mill has been quick to offer up possible replacements for the Bumgarner vacancy (though not for his expected results), but at a time in the game’s development when the best and most progressive-thinking teams are talking about four-man rotations and Staff on every fifth day, a strategic development that requires strength in numbers, the Giants have neither that strength nor those numbers.

Their best internal choices are veteran Derek Holland, who might already have been penciled in as Samardzija’s replacement, and phenom-in-training Tyler Beede. But that essentially uses up the in-house bank of usable goods, so Sabean can either buy something very off-the-rack or hope he and Bruce Bochy can fake it long enough for Samardzija (three to four weeks) and then Bumgarner (six to eight, according to ESPN's Buster Olney).

This seems awfully daunting, especially for a team that has buzzard’s luck and a rotting bat rack for a season and a half. But with six days before the regular season starts in Los Angeles against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers...oh, the hell with it. If you’re a Giant fan, start drinking, and continue until further notice. The evil lord of the netherworld will tell you when it’s time to stop.

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after the Giants lost one of the game's most durable pitchers, they took a much bigger blow. 

Madison Bumgarner fractured the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive Friday in what was to be his final appearance before facing Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on Opening Day. The Giants did not have an immediate timetable for how long their ace will be out, but he is expected to miss a significant portion of the season for a second straight year. The rotation is already without Jeff Samardzija for the first month of the season because of a strained pectoral.

Bumgarner told reporters he will have surgery on Saturday to insert pins into his hand. He expects the pins to be removed in four-to-six weeks, and that he'll be able to pitch before the All-Star break. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that, in all, Bumgarner will be out for six-to-eight weeks.

Bumgarner looked poised for a huge season, and he threw well all camp. He was injured when hit by a liner off the bat of Kansas City's Whit Merrifield. Ironically, Bumgarner and Merrifield grew up close to each other in North Carolina, and Merrifield has told a story about getting beamed by an intimidating 11-year-old Bumgarner in little league.

The Giants had little rotation depth coming into the season, and the group is now in shambles. Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee, may be the No. 2 starter. The Giants will also have to lean heavily on young pitchers Chris Stratton and Ty Blach. Johnny Cueto is the de facto ace, but he's coming off a down year and at times has struggled this spring. 

There are not many appealing options left in free agency and the Giants likely would have to go into the tax to sign one. Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez are the top in-house options.