Buster Posey got down on one knee and reached up to grab a sinker from Alex Wood, etching his name once again into the Giants record book. By taking the field, Posey became the first player in franchise history to catch 1,000 career games, and there haven't been many quite like this win.
Two pitches after the first one, Wood gave up a long, loud homer to exciting Miami Marlins rookie Jazz Chisholm that left one of the deepest parts of the yard and nearly bounced into McCovey Cove. After that, Wood was just about perfect.
In his second start with the Giants, Wood retired 21 of the final 22 batters he faced. The homer was the only hit he allowed in seven innings, and the only other blemish was a walk. He carried the heaviest load on another night when the Giants did a lot of things right in all facets. They beat the Marlins 5-3, finishing 13-7 in the season's first 20 games.
"There's confidence right now," Posey said. "It's a good feeling when you come to the ballpark. Obviously it's early, it's very early, but I think we feel like when we show up each day we've got a good chance to win. I think offensively we feel like we haven't hit our stride yet, but hopefully as the season goes along we can get in our groove offensively, keep pitching well and play solid defense, and good things will happen."
The pitching has been the story through 20 games, and Wood's outing might have been the sharpest of the season. It also was bizarre, starting with such a negative moment and then completely turning around.
"I didn't feel great early with my changeup and my fastball command those first two innings," Wood said. "But I felt like I really settled in, started clipping some really good changeups and commanding my fastball and the rest was history from there. I felt great tonight the further I got into the game."
The Marlins had no chance after Chisholm touched the plate. Wood struck out seven, getting six of those punchouts on his slider, which he repeatedly threw at the back feet of a righty-heavy lineup.
"He just had a good mix going," Posey said. "It felt like he could throw all three pitches whenever he wanted. He gave the lineup different looks."
Manager Gabe Kapler credited Wood for his pace, and the veteran lefty seemed to be on exactly the same page as Posey, who himself is off to a hot start. Posey did get a scare, though, in a later Chisholm at-bat.
The rookie took a big swing and hit Posey in the head with his finish, but Posey, who always has been extremely serious about shots to the head, said he was completely fine.
The knock was scary enough in the moment that Kapler later used starter Anthony DeSclafani as a pinch-hitter to protect his bench depth and keep Curt Casali in reserve, but ultimately it was just a reminder of how impressive it is for any catcher to stay healthy long enough to catch 1,000 games.
"It's a nice accomplishment," Posey said. "Being able to stay on the field takes a lot of diligence and hard work in the offseason and during the season. It takes a great training staff. I think I've talked before about how highly I think of Dave Groeschner and his staff, Anthony Reyes, Tony Reali -- I think all those guys put their heads together to figure out the best way to keep you on the field and be as productive as possible. It takes a lot of different people to make that happen."