SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey has taken plenty of impressive swings this season, but few can compare to the one he uncorked on a sinker from Padres starter Jake Arrieta in the first inning on Tuesday at Oracle Park.
With Arrieta ahead in the count 1-2, the veteran starter threw a 90-mile per hour sinker that appeared to be more than six inches off the inside corner of the plate. The misfire didn’t matter to Posey, who found a way to get his barrel on the pitch and send the ball 390 feet into the left center field bleachers for a solo home run.
The pitch from Arrieta was clearly a location mistake as Padres catcher Austin Nola was set up on the outer half of home plate, but it’s not as if the sinker was thrown in a spot where most major league hitters would be able to crush the offering.
Buster turned on the inside pitch pic.twitter.com/133463VdAQ
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 15, 2021
According to MLB researcher Sarah Langs, Posey’s home run was 1.37 feet from the center of the plate, making it the furthest inside of any pitch a right-handed Giants batter has homered on since at least 2008.
Posey’s 18th home run of the season pushed the Giants ahead of the Padres 1-0 moments after first baseman Brandon Belt hit into a rare 7-5-3 double play. A baserunning miscue from Tommy La Stella, who expected Belt’s flyball down the left field line to drop, ended up costing the Giants a run after Jurickson Profar and Manny Machado completed a flawless relay to first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Posey was out of the lineup on Monday night when the Giants became the first MLB team to clinch a playoff spot this year. Curt Casali started in Posey’s place after the 11th-year veteran played all three games during the Giants’ weekend series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
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Author: Kerry Crowley