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'Dang column' knocks down Posey's probable first Splash Hit homer

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey will go down as one of the most accomplished players in Giants history, with virtually nothing missing from his resume. But when it comes to a defining feature of Posey's home ballpark for his entire career, the catcher has a problem. 

Posey bats right-handed, which means McCovey Cove is off-limits. Or, at least everyone thought it was until the first inning Friday night. 

Posey's two-run homer that gave the Giants an early lead in a Game 1 win nearly found its way into the Cove on the fly. If it had, he would have become the first right-handed hitter in the ballpark's history to record a Splash Hit. 

"The dang column kept me from a Splash Hit," Posey said, smiling. 

The column doubles as a water tower, and Posey's first playoff homer in nine years landed on top of it before bouncing into McCovey Cove, where it was scooped up by a Giants fan on a boat. Per Splash Hit rules, a ball must enter the water on the fly to count, and it's hard to tell if Posey's would have. If the column isn't there, maybe it lands on the port walk, or maybe it goes all the way into the water. We'll never know. 

Either way, it was an impressive blast, particularly because it was Posey's first swing since Sunday's NL West-clinching win. He got ahead 3-0 on Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler before hitting a fastball 382 feet the other way. 

 

"Your first swing of the night, to be that accurate with the barrel is incredibly impressive," manager Gabe Kapler said. "But I imagine Buster, along with the rest of our hitters, were kind of thinking about moments like that before they happened."

Buehler said he wasn't at all surprised Posey swung 3-0. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts added, "I don't think anybody in the ballpark was surprised that he was swinging."

"It was good in the sense that you make a guy beat you the other way, but he's obviously got strength that way," Roberts said. "You've got to give credit to Buster to get into a hitter's count and he put a good swing on it."

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Buehler said he simply threw Posey a "mistake heater." It was Posey's fourth career homer on a 3-0 count and second in the last six weeks. He got to 3-0 in 14 plate appearances during the regular season and drew 10 walks. When he swung, he was 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. Posey said his mindset against Buehler was to just "attack" from the first pitch.

"It's trying to get something that you can drive and not necessarily letting the count dictate that approach," he said. 

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