A day after he produced the first hit of his postseason career, former Jesuit High standout and Giants backup center Andrew Susac was still savoring the moment – and hoping for more opportunities.
The Giants trailed the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 in the top of the ninth Sunday, with one out and nobody on, when Susac singled to center off reliever Trevor Rosenthal. Matt Duffy came in as a pinch runner and eventually scored the tying run on a wild pitch. While it was all for naught – the Cards won in the bottom of the ninth on Kolten Wong’s home run – the series is tied 1-1, with the next three games at AT&T Park.
Susac, whose appearances have been limited with Brandon Belt healthy and catcher Buster Posey back at his usual position, has been watching, learning, listening, but itching to get back on the field. After being called up from Triple-A Fresno, he appeared in 35 regular season games and had 88 at bats. In his only other postseason appearance, he grounded out in the Giants’ 18-inning marathon victory over the Washington Nationals in Game Two of the NLDS.
“It’s tough,” he said after Monday’s brief workout, “but I know my role. And the guy in front of me (Posey) is pretty special. When I got in there yesterday, it was like, ‘finally!’ I can’t wait to get in there. Sometimes it can get hard. Going from playing every day to not playing, going four or five games in a row without touching the field. But we’re in pretty big circumstances here. I’m just keeping a positive mindset. I’ve been doing that, and I think that’s why I’m being successful. My mind is in the right place.”
Susac, who says almost all of his relatives will be driving from Sacramento and attending at least one of the games this week, occupies much of his time studying the other catchers. He described the injured (and future Hall of Famer) Yadier Molina as “twitchy quick” and has gained an even greater appreciation of Posey’s relationship with the Giants pitchers.
“You don’t see many catchers hit like Buster,” the rookie added, “but for me, I like watching him work with the pitchers, how he handles the staff, when he goes out to calm down the pitchers, how he calls a game. That’s something, from the sidelines, I can see him working mentally with the pitcher. It’s pretty fun to watch.”