Buster Posey had a rough Friday night. The Giants’ catcher was hit by a pitch in the left elbow while batting and had several pitches in the dirt bounce up and catch him behind the plate. Consequently, Posey got a day off Saturday.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Posey’s elbow has some swelling and is “pretty sore … I think he just needs a break.” Andrew Susac caught for Ryan Vogelsong, and right fielder Marlon Byrd, who hit a grand slam Friday, batted cleanup against St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn.
Second baseman Joe Panik (lower back inflammation) is still on track to start a rehabilitation assignment with the River Cats on Tuesday.
Posey was available to pinch hit and likely will return to the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against St. Louis.
Meanwhile, Bochy reiterated his hope that shortstop Brandon Crawford will return Monday from his mild oblique strain. But he said the Giants wouldn’t be sure about Crawford until the shortstop tests his side by swinging a bat.
The other injured middle infielder, Joe Panik (lower back inflammation), is still on track to start a rehabilitation assignment with the River Cats on Tuesday. Panik took batting practice indoors Saturday and should hit on the field Sunday before joining the River Cats in Sacramento.
If you missed Friday’s moves, Chris Heston will start Sunday’s finale in place of Matt Cain, who was placed on the disabled list because of elbow nerve inflammation. Heston did not pitch in the minors after being optioned Aug. 21, but Bochy said he stayed on a regular throwing schedule and will have no limitations in Sunday’s start.
The Giants have made up three games in the last three days on the Chicago Cubs for the second National League wild-card spot, though they remain 21/2 games behind the Dodgers in the N.L. West. With a win Saturday, the Giants would match their high-water mark for the year at 11 games over .500.
I think he just needs a break.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy on catcher Buster Posey
Vogelsong will try to rebound from a rocky start in Pittsburgh, where he allowed three runs, seven hits and four walks in 31/3 innings. In his start before the Pittsburgh outing, he pitched six scoreless innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis, allowing just two hits.
The Giants’ lineup against Lynn:
And the Cardinals’ lineup against Vogelsong: