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Buster Posey’s arm sure looks healthy, too

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The bat has gotten plenty of attention. Saturday was the first game this year Buster Posey did not record a hit, and he still reached safely with a walk. His two home runs have shown his hips are moving well.

The manner in which he knows his own pitchers also has been a large theme of the Giants’ season. The Giants lacked his brain as much as his body last year, and now they have a three-time World Series champ who has a sense of what each member of the staff wants to do and can do. There is a reason the Giants want to match up Posey with Logan Webb so often.

The 34-year-old’s arm has received less attention after a year away in which he has joked he kept his right arm in shape by pegging diapers at his son, Lee, who did not want to be part of the changing process with his baby siblings.

Poor Lee, and poor Rockies base-runners.

Posey threw out two would-be base-stealers at second base during the Giants’ 4-3 win over the Rockies at Oracle Park, showing just one more reason how he influences a game.

First it was Garrett Hampson, who took off after his game-opening walk was a bad omen for Webb. Hampson got a good jump, but Posey got a good outside fastball to throw on. He could not have placed the dart any better, a shifted-over Evan Longoria putting his glove next to the bag and letting the throw do the work.

Raimel Tapia was the sixth-inning victim, the Rockies outfielder looking stunned after another bullet from Posey, this time with Tommy La Stella doing the tagging honors.

The Rockies were not totally scared off — Tapia also stole a bag and Trevor Story did, too, opposing runners now 4-for-7 against Posey — but he controlled the run game again.

Webb was bemoaning not doing a better job of going quicker to the plate. Gabe Kapler, who said Posey did a “tremendous” job, was quick to bemoan that he thought Posey could have had three punched out, as Tapia’s successful steal was close.

“Could have been three caught stealing for Buster today,” the manager said over Zoom. “Feet look great, hips look great, making strong accurate throws. It’s been excellent so far.”

His at-bats do a better job of displaying his health than his crouches and pop-ups, whether he’s busting pulled balls to left or staying with pitches to center. His hips are¬†allowing him the mobility to move fluidly. But his ability to jump out from a crouch quickly and nail base-stealers like they’re his son running away is awfully encouraging, too.

“It’s fun to watch, honestly. He got an incredible arm back there,” Webb said.

“He definitely looks quick,” Brandon Crawford offered. “He’s always been pretty quick and accurate with his throws, though, so if there’s a difference, it’s probably pretty slight.”

Kapler said the Giants’ bench was short but did not want to expand upon that. The only batters not to play were Austin Slater and Curt Casali.

Longoria made his return and looked smooth defensively after missing Friday’s game because of side effects from his first and only vaccine shot.

In four plate appearances, La Stella saw 25 pitches, including 14 on his first two. He went 2-for-3 with a double, single and walk and was a big part of knocking Chi Chi Gonzalez out of the game after five innings.

“Today was Tommy La Stella as advertised,” Kapler said.

The lefty swinger had played sparingly over the first week because of plenty of opposing lefties and because he was scratched with a sore back.

“It’s such a controlled, competitive at-bat, where he spoils pitches that are on the edges and he hammers pitches that are in the zone,” Kapler said, with Colorado set to start another righty (German Marquez) on Sunday. “He’s kind of like Donnie Solano, in that he knows where the sweet spot is, has got great barrel accuracy, but at the same time, he sees a ton of pitches, spoils a ton of pitches and lays off pitches that others would offer at.”

Donovan Solano received his Silver Slugger award before the game, surrounded by Kapler and the Giants’ hitting coaches and wearing a big smile.

The Colombia native was especially excited because his family was around to see him get the trophy.

The Giants lost Ashton Goudeau, a righty they briefly had in their system, on waivers, the Dodgers making a claim.

Goudeau had been claimed in mid-March from Baltimore after Dedniel Nunez went on the 60-day injured list. He was then DFA’d last week to make space for outfielder Skye Bolt.

Giants fans waiting for Goudeau will be unhappy.


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