SAN FRANCISCO -- With three World Series rings and every accolade possible already to his name, it's hard to "own" Buster Posey as a pitcher at this point in his career. Coming into Friday night, Walker Buehler could say he did just that this season when facing the Giants' catcher.
Posey went 1-for-11 in the regular season against the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace, with his lone hit -- a double -- coming back on June 29. When Posey stepped to the plate in Game 1 of the NLDS at Oracle Park, any previous at-bats in the regular season were a mere mirage. Posey has been here and done that, just as he proved again in his first at-bat of a 4-0 Giants win in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
After seeing three straight balls, Posey jumped all over a Buehler fastball, crushing it 382 feet over the tall right-field wall for a two-run shot that ignited the Giants' offense and brought a sea of orange rally rags throughout the crowd. If it wasn't for a water tower behind the bleachers, Posey would have became the first right-handed Giants hitter to launch a Splash Hit.
Posey could have easily taken the pitch, working Buehler's pitch count and staying ahead all at the same time. But Buehler wasn't surprised one bit that Posey pounced on a pitch that was the biggest mistake of the night.
"No, Buster's been in this game a long time," Buehler said. "I think they obviously have trust in him to swing 3-0 and just a mistake heater. Obviously, an area that he can drive the ball and just not a great throw. But it is what it is."
There's a reason Buehler wasn't, and shouldn't have been, surprised by Posey staying in attack mode. As Posey enjoyed his comeback season at the plate this year, he couldn't have been better in 3-0 counts. Posey hit .500 in 3-0 counts with one double, one home run and 10 walks in the regular season. That's good for an .850 on-base percentage and a 1.500 slugging percentage.
He also has been ready to make an impact from the get-go, batting .315 in the first inning during the regular season, while also hitting seven of his 18 homers the first time the Giants went to bat -- his most homers of any inning this year.
"I don't think anybody in the ballpark was surprised that he was swinging 3-0," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He does that frequently. It was good in the sense that you make a guy beat you the other way. But he's obviously got strength that way, so you got to give credit to Buster to get into a count -- a hitter's count -- and he put a good swing on it."
The swing was Posey's first postseason home run since Game 4 of the 2012 World Series, and just the latest unforgettable moment the future Hall of Fame Giant gave these fans.