Posey impressive in intrasquad game for Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ” Even though it was only an intrasquad game, top prospect Buster Posey’s first spring at-bat for the San Francisco Giants left a lasting impression.
Posey doubled to deep left-center field off five-time Cy Young winner Randy Johnson on an 0-2 fastball Tuesday, the only hit off Johnson in his two shutout innings of the 4 1/2-inning game.
“I’ve watched him my whole life. I dig in (at the plate), I look up and there’s the Big Unit,” said Posey, a catcher who signed a $6.2 million contract as the Giants’ first-round pick in the 2008 draft.
“It was an unbelievable experience for me, just to have the opportunity to hit off him. I was trying to slow the game down a little bit and get a good pitch to hit.”
Johnson and Barry Zito each threw two scoreless innings as the Giants prepared for their exhibition opener against Cleveland on Wednesday in Goodyear.
Johnson and Zito were scheduled to go only one inning apiece, but each had such an effortless first inning ” Johnson threw eight pitches, Zito seven ” that they went out for another.
“It was a good day’s work for them,” manager Bruce Bochy said, “the fact that they got two innings of work and threw well.”
Johnson threw 27 pitches, getting five groundouts and a fly out while walking one. Zito threw 22 pitches, giving up two singles and striking out one batter.
Johnson, who will make his first spring start Friday, used a changeup, slider and split-finger pitch in addition to his signature fastball.
“I think he’s adjusted to becoming more of a pitcher,” Bochy said. “He understands he’s not (throwing) 97, 98, 99 (mph) any more. He was working on stuff out there today, the groundballs. He was not trying to miss bats. He worked on everything. You could see he was serious about his work.”
Switch-hitter Andres Torres accounted for the only run of the game with a home run to right field off Henry Sosa in the third inning.
Travis Ishikawa had two singles, the only player with more than one hit. Pat Misch also pitched two scoreless innings.
Notes: OF Fred Lewis, who had offseason bunion surgery, ran the bases for the first time this spring Tuesday and will be held out of the lineup Wednesday against Cleveland. “We’re just making sure everything is feeling fine. If it was up to me, I would have played. I can play any day,” Lewis said. … OF Dave Roberts and INF Rich Aurilia, who are still feeling the effects of the flu, are not scheduled to play Wednesday either. … SS Brian Bocock made the defensive play of the day, going deep into the hole to throw out Steve Holm. “It’s the number,” Bocock said. Bocock is wearing No. 13 this season, the number worn by 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel in his four years with the Giants. … Eugenio Velez played center field and had one of the seven hits. He has recovered enough from the flu that he will travel with the team for the game Wednesday. … 2B Emmanuel Burriss singled in the first inning but was picked off by Zito and thrown out at second base. Burriss also committed two errors, one throwing and one fielding. “I got all the rust off, I hope,” Burriss said.