A team grasping at straws, the Giants made two moves before Tuesday’s game against the Mets.
First, they placed Hector Sanchez on the disabled list with an injury I care less about than Phish cares about brevity. Mike Kickham gets his third trip to the big-league roster to replace the Giants’ thirdÂ catcher. But the bizarre move was the call-up of Kensuke Tanaka, the Japanese import that lost a backup infield role when his bat and glove failed him in Spring Training.
The move was so bizarre it almost worked. Upon being recalled, Tanaka was immediately written into the lineup as the starting left fielder and No. 2 hitter. Who he was vexed the more casual fan, while the Lunatic Fringe was curious why a guy who has played nine games in American outfields was ready for a corner spot in AT&T.
Then there was The Catch. No, Dwight Clark or T.O. didn’t show up. But this happened:
Before the 2012 season I invented a segment for our blog/podcast called “Brandon Watch”, based on the premise that the Giants could be successful if their young (and cheap) position players performed at the level of major-league caliber starters. What followed was a great defensive season from Brandon Crawford and a really nice all-around performance by Brandon Belt.
There will be no Brandons for Giants fans to watch Friday night against Miami. Crawford sits for the third straight day after spraining two of his fingers on a stolen base attempt Tuesday. Crawford will be available to pinch-run and/or pinch-hit, according to Andrew Baggarly. The only hurdle to starting now is the discomfort he feels when releasing the ball on defense.
Buster Posey gets a full day of rest Monday after playing in all nine games of the Giants’ recent road trip. The reigning MVP caught eight of those games, spending Saturday’s game at first base. Posey collected 15 hits on the trip, raising his 2013 batting line to .316/.390/.515. His .905 OPS is tops among MLB catchers and seventh among all position players in the National League. Hector Sanchez gets his fifth start of the season behind the dish and his first since April 18th.
Sanchez caught Zito in 24 of his 32 starts last year, becoming somewhat of a personal catcher for the lefty. Bochy looks to exploit this comfort tonight at AT&T, where Zito has a 1.94 ERA on the season. He is 4-1 in home starts, to go along with an 0-4 road record and 11.28 ERA away from San Francisco.