The absolute last thing the Giants need is more injuries.
A collision between first baseman Darin Ruf and catcher Buster Posey in the Giants' 10-5 win over the Rockies at Coors Field on Monday afternoon nearly resulted in disaster.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, a pop fly out in front of home plate resulted in Ruf sliding into the legs of Posey as he made the catch. Everybody was OK, and Posey got right back up and caught the remainder of the game, but it was hard not to imagine the disaster that could have ensued from what looked to be a scary collision.
“We have to do a better job of communicating on popups and fly balls," Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after the win. "Recently we haven’t done our best work in that regard."
"In defense of our players right now, we just want to catch the baseball," Kapler continued. "Sometimes you don’t want to take your eye off the baseball as a defender. Sometimes it is important that you do look up and glance and see who’s around you. We just have to be better earlier communicators. We’ll clean this up.”
Ruf owned up to the miscommunication after the game and joked that he should have been removed from the game in order to keep the rest of his teammates safe.
“It’s always a scary moment," Giants starter Kevin Gausman said postgame. "(That) one I probably should have taken charge, the defense is playing back. It’s probably my ball, it’s right in front of me."
There was another close call, too.
Two innings prior to Ruf's collision with Posey, the Giants' first baseman nearly collided with shortstop Brandon Crawford on a similar infield pop-up. One actual collision and one near-collision left somewhat of a stain on what had been a phenomenal day at the plate for Ruf (2-4, HR, 3B, 3 RBI).
Fortunately, everyone emerged from the incidents unscathed. But that hasn't always been the case.
Earlier this season, on June 5, both Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria collided on a groundball to the left side of the field. It proved to be very costly, resulting in a shoulder sprain for Longoria, sidelining him for nearly two months.
Fast forward to August 25 and a collision between outfielders Austin Slater and Alex Dickerson resulted in a dropped fly ball in the ninth inning of a very close 3-2 win over the New York Mets. The crisis was averted there, but nonetheless, it's a mistake that major league baseball players should not be committing.
The Giants have played very well defensively this season. Recording the fourth-fewest errors (69) and the fourth-best fielding percentage (.986) in the National League, the defense has been a big reason why the Giants own baseball's best record. Their rare miscues, though, have been ugly, to say the least.
Battling for a division title, the Giants cannot afford to lose another key player to injury. Their depth has proven to be as strong as any club this season, but another bad collision like we saw Monday, and the Giants might not be as lucky next time.
Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast