SF Giants catcher Buster Posey is definitely one of the MLB’s most dominant catchers – both offensively and defensively – and is not exactly new to league firsts. During Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, though, reports CBS Sports, Posey did something that stupefied even his SF Giants teammates – especially pitcher Jake Peavy, who was the recipient of a mind-blowing surprise when he least expected it.
During the game, the SF Giants team captains wowed everyone at the Giants’ AT&T Park by smoking a ball over 60 feet (18.25 meters) from his perch behind home plate into Peavy’s glove – without Peavy even looking. The stunt could have been extremely dangerous – a fact visible in the reactions of SF fans and even the Arizona batter – but it instead turned out to be a display of pure greatness.
Even the regularly-unflappable announcers were left in disbelief after the unbelievable exhibition.
“That’s impossible,” SF Giants commentator Duane Kuiper would declare, dumfounded.
The Giants were leading in the top of the fourth inning when Peavy found himself pitching to Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb. With the count 2-0, Peavy smoked a pitch just out of the strike zone. Apparently, the pitch looked better to Lamb than it actually was, because he swung with all his force – and changed his mind at the last second.
The ball smacked into Buster Posey’s double-padded fielder’s mitt, and the Giants’ home plate umpire called to his third base counterpart to ask if Lamb had indeed checked his swing or had gone around. The SF third base coach signaled that Jake had not crossed the center of the plate with his swing, meaning that the count was then 3-0.
Peavy took issue with the call and turned his head towards the third base ump to give him a piece of his mind. Posey was not in the mood for waiting, though. It is not clear whether Giants fans’ favorite catcher just did not realize Peavy was not paying attention or simply felt like working one of the spectacular baseball magic tricks SF has become accustomed to seeing from him at Giants games.
Either way, Posey lobbed the ball towards Peavy as the SF starter turned his head. The ball traveled up, up, reached the apex of its arc, and began its descent towards the still-preoccupied Peavy. Those watching, including the Giants catcher, knew that this was probably not going to end well, and Posey immediately began to regret his decision to basically chuck the hardball at a player who was not even aware the projectile was coming towards him.
Posey left his squat and began jogging towards the mound, ready to apologize profusely once he reached Peavy, who would undoubtedly be holding his head, which by that time would be sporting a bruise that would grow into a generous lump. Buster must have been just as pleasantly surprised as the SF fans when, instead of connecting with the side or top of Peavy’s turned head, it plopped neatly into his upturned glove, which Peavy had cupped against his chest.
It must have been quite a shock for Peavy when the ball hit its target – although it does not appear the pitcher was hurt, it must have hit his chest with some speed. However, SF Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow pointed out, Peavy did not bat an eye. He turned back to the mound and acted as if the breathtaking feat that had just happened had not taken place at all.
Jake Lamb was not so unphased. A closeup of his face shown on the broadcast after Posey’s phenomenal return throw took place shows that he bared his teeth and recoiled in scared anticipation as the pitch was in the air, realizing what he thought was about to happen.
Buster returned to the mound and resumed his catcher’s squat and continued his game, apparently not realizing how spectacular his throw had been. When confronted later by an SF Giants writer and shown the footage of his feat, he had laughed and voiced his amazement.
“It doesn’t look real. It just doesn’t look real,” he said, shaking his head.
Even SF Giants manager bruce bochy, when asked about the incident, said he had never before seen anything like it.
The Giants went on to win the game 4-2. It was the second game of a three-game sweep they completed against the Diamondbacks yesterday to increase the SF Giants record to 57-33 on the 2016 season.
The entire SF Giants squad – except for SP Madison Bumgarner, SP Johnny Cueto, and Buster Posey himself – now gets a few days of well-earned rest as the Giants (and the entire MLB) go on All-Star Break. Giants fans can look forward to their next game, which will be played at the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park, on Friday.
[Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]