Posey after scare in home opener: 'I feel good'

Posey after scare in home opener: 'I feel good'

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey walked out of AT&T Park an hour after the final pitch Monday, looking as he always does.

"I feel good," he told NBC Sports Bay Area. "See you tomorrow."

The Giants have learned in recent years that the initial reaction to a blow to the head is sometimes deceiving, but the first read on Posey was that he will be fine. The catcher took a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball to the helmet in the first inning Monday and was immediately removed, but he passed a concussion test. 

"He's doing good. He's doing fine," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We'll keep an eye on him. He had no complaints or anything. Right now, he's doing well. Our doctors were here and they checked him out pretty good."

The Giants took no chances when Posey went down. He sat back, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy, as teammates and fans cringed at the thud they had heard. Groeschner pulled Posey and took him right to the clubhouse. Bochy said that the situation might have been different if Posey played a different position.

"He was hit in the head and he's a catcher, so now he's even more at risk," Bochy said. "If he's catching and he takes a foul tip, he's even more at risk. We didn't want to risk that."

Nick Hundley replaced Posey behind the plate. Teammates who went back to check on Posey said he looked and acted fine, and Posey noted that he was expecting symptoms that never came. 

The Giants might know better than any other MLB team that the days after a hit to the head are more instructive. Brandon Belt, Hector Sanchez and Joe Panik are among the Giants who have been concussed in recent years. Panik got hit by a Matt Moore pitch last June 18 and played for over a week. When he realized he wasn't right, he ultimately missed 23 games with a concussion.

"He seems fine, and he said he felt fine, which is good," said Brandon Crawford, one of Posey's closest friends. "But Joe thought he felt good last year, also. You hope he feels fine tomorrow when he comes in. He'll probably get his heart rate going and see how he feels and you go from there."

Giants doctors will continue to check with Posey overnight, and he isn't expected to play Tuesday. Hundley has a good rapport with the staff and he helped guide Moore through eight sharp innings in a 4-1 win. Late in the game, Moore hit David Peralta on the arm. Players and coaches quietly grumbled after the game that Walker, who has command issues, should not have been trying to go inside so often. He almost hit Jarrett Parker high, too, but Moore said there was no retaliation. 

"In a three-run game in the eighth?" he said. "I don't think so."

The Giants did not plan to immediately make a roster move. Trevor Brown is the third catcher on the 40-man roster but he's sidelined by an illness after starting the season on the DL with an ankle injury. Tim Federowicz is the catcher at Triple-A but he's not on the 40-man roster, so a player would need to be removed to clear a spot.

Aaron Hill, an infielder/left fielder, is the emergency catcher.

"He just found out today that he's our third catcher," Bochy said, smiling. "He found out late in the game."


Why shaking it up won't be as easy as it sounds for Giants

Why shaking it up won't be as easy as it sounds for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — At several points in August, while explaining why he still had hope, manager Bruce Bochy compared his team to St. Louis. The Cardinals disappointed throughout the first half, but put it together for a few weeks and got themselves back in the race. Bochy hoped this weekend’s series would be meaningful for two franchises that ruled the National League for much of the past decade. 

It will be meaningful for the Cardinals, who are currently in the second wild card spot, but for the Giants, it’s simply the final road series on the way to “shaking it up.”

That feeling has been percolating on Giants Twitter for two years. There are many fans who have been ready to blow this all up for a while now, and recently, team president and CEO Larry Baer gave that group some hope. 

“We’re gonna shake it up,” he said during an appearance on KNBR. “I can’t tell you how it gets shaken up from a players’ point of view. I think Brian (Sabean) has said it — we’re just gonna shake it up.”

With the end of the season fast approaching, it’s worth asking what exactly that might mean. How many Giants are on their final trip in orange and black? How many big names might be shipped out?

Well, for the Giants, “shaking it up” will be much harder than it appears because of three other words: no-trade clause. 

Buster Posey has a full no-trade clause. Brandon Crawford does, too. Ditto for Mark Melancon. Those are three of seven Giants owed at least $14 million next year (Pablo Sandoval is an eighth, but the Red Sox are paying nearly every penny), and they’re going nowhere. 

Add Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to that list, too, for a different reason. Both are hurt, and you can’t trade an injured pitcher who lives in the $20 million per year neighborhood. You just can’t. 

Out of the big contracts, that leaves Brandon Belt ($16 million) and Evan Longoria ($14.5 million, although the Rays are contributing). Longoria turns 33 in three weeks and, while he’s been much better of late, it was still a down year offensively and his contract runs through 2022. It’s hard to see any scenario where moving him is realistic or brings back a return that makes the Giants better, and when you talk to team officials, Longoria is never a name brought up as a trade option. 

Belt is the player mentioned most often in hypothetical discussions, but that ignores the details. A Belt trade would be complicated by the three years and $48 million remaining on his deal and the fact that he’s about to have knee surgery for a second time. And again, we bring you back to those contract details. Belt can provide a list every offseason of 10 teams he cannot be traded to. He has never shown any inclination that he wants to leave San Francisco, and his list is said to reflect that desire. It would not be hard, given how many teams are in tank mode these days, for Belt and his representatives to form a list that makes it nearly impossible for the Giants to find a trade partner. 

There are other ways the Giants could shake it up, of course. Joe Panik and Hunter Strickland are notable Giants who are starting to get pricy in arbitration, there could be changes in the front office or to the coaching staff, and more firings are expected with support staff. There’s the nuclear option, too. Madison Bumgarner has one year remaining on his deal and at some point the Giants could put him on the market. 

Bumgarner doesn’t want to go anywhere, though, and like the others, he would have some say in the matter. Yep, you guessed it. His contract includes the right to block a trade to eight teams. Once again, “shaking it up” will be harder than it sounds. 

POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Ishikawa's HR wins '14 Pennant vs. Winning '10 World Series


POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Ishikawa's HR wins '14 Pennant vs. Winning '10 World Series

NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into SportsNet Central at 4 p.m. to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Cardinals conclude on Saturday, tune into SportsNet Central to see which moment will move on.

1. Travis Ishikawa's walk-off homer wins 2014 NL Pennant (Nine-time winner -- Defeated Giants sweep Detroit to win 2012 World Series thanks to Marco Scutaro's game-winning hit)

(From former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Tim Flannery)

After winning a one-game Wild Card showdown in Pittsburgh and then dramatically defeating the heavily favored Washington Nationals 3 games to 1, we found ourselves one series away from another trip to the World Series. After four tough fought games against the St. Louis Cardinals, we were leading the NLCS 3 games to 1 and back in San Francisco with our ace Madison Bumgarner on the mound with a chance to make history once again.

Bum would be facing the Cards veteran ace Adam Wainwright, who was very familiar pitching win-or-go-home games. The Cards struck first,  scoring one in the 3rd inning, but Joe Panik hit a two-run homer to take the lead and get the packed house in China Basin on their feet and going wild. The Cards came right back to quiet the crowd and steal back the momentum with two homers of their own and take back the lead 3- 2. Bumgarner and Wainwright both went into shut down mode retiring the rest of the hitters they saw. With the Cardinals leading by one, relief specialist Pat Neshek took over in the 8th only to surrender a huge pinch-hit homer to Michael Morse who went down and hooked a slider up and out to left field to tie the game.

Santiago Casilla took over in the 9th and after loading the bases, Jeremy Affeldt came in once again and shut down the Cardinals and keep the game tied into the bottom of the 9th. 

With Michael Wacha taking the mound for the Cardinals, the crowd at AT&T came to their feet knowing one run would send us to our 3rd World Series in the last five years. Pablo Sandoval singled to start the inning and with one out, Brandon Belt walked. Joaquin Arias pinch ran for Sandoval. Travis Ishikawa came to the plate to hit and with the count 2-0, he went down and crushed a low, sinking fastball to right field hitting a line drive that looked like it had a chance to get over the head of the right fielder. As the third base coach, I immediately checked my runner at second base, and Árias did the correct thing, going half way on the ball in the air. When I looked back to find the ball, everything went into slow motion and deftly quiet, at least in my head. Then I realized the ball was over the outfielder and we were going to win the Pennant.

At that moment, the quiet in my head erupted into total chaos as the ball continued into the seats for a walk-off, Pennant winning moment that would be part of history forever. Bedlam broke out with Ishikawa running around the bases with his teammates running down the line with him jumping and screaming. Jake Peavy sprinted by me and ran on the field to jump on Travis at second base thinking he hit a double, not a homer to win it. Waiting at home plate, the rest of the team was delirious waiting on Ishikawa to run through the obstacles of people, flying helmets and tears until he touched home plate and sent the Giants to the World Series and his legacy into the history books forever right next to the Bobby Thompson’s “Shot Heard ‘round the World” as the “Giants win the Pennant, the Giants win the Pennant, the Giants win the Pennant.” 

Fans, friends and family danced and partied on the field and then into the Clubhouse to celebrate all night, still not believing what had just taken place. A very surreal moment that will never be forgotten.


2. Giants defeat Rangers in 2010 World Series thanks to Edgar Renteria's three-run homer

(From former Giants outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Andres Torres)

I got to the field early, around 1:30pm because it was the World Series and you're pumped. Around 3pm, Edgar came to me and said 'Andres, I'm going to hit a homer today.' I'm like 'Okay, I believe him.'

Then we had batting practice, we came in, had something to eat, then we had soft-toss as we got closer to the game. And Edgar said to me 'Remember, I told you I'm going to hit a homer.'

Then in the seventh inning, he hits it, and we see the outfielder going back and back and back and then the ball's gone!!!

I was so pumped and when he came back to the dugout from homeplate, I started yelling in Spanish 'You told me you were going to do it. You told me you were going to do it.' I said it twice because he said it to me twice that he was going to do it. We were so pumped!!!

It was amazing. He called it twice, twice!!! We were World Champions and he was the MVP and it was amazing. Edgar was a leader in the clubhouse. He played a long time and made sure we were all doing the right things, especially me and Pablo (Sandoval). He's a great friend and that was a special moment, I loved was like wow!! It was so cool!!!