SAN DIEGO -- Buster Posey provided a vivid reminder Friday night that actions speak louder than words. So do scars, bruises and indentations.Posey absorbed the impact from a Ryan Vogelsong curveball that skipped once in the dirt before striking him in the throat. The catcher was in obvious pain but remained in the game to play all nine innings and help the Giants outlast the San Diego Padres, 3-1. If ruggedness counts among the qualities of a Most Valuable Player, Posey strengthened his candidacy for the prestigious award by enduring this mishap. Vogelsong delivered a graphic account of the wicked pitch's effect on Posey: "When I got there, I could see the seam mark on his Adam's apple, so I knew it got him good." The Padres had two on and two outs when Vogelsong's 0-2 pitch to Everth Cabrera bounced in the dirt and hit Posey just below his face mask. Posey knelt virtually motionless, in obvious pain, as head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy ran out to check on him. For a fleeting moment, it was May 2011 -- when Posey sustained his extensive left leg injuries in a home-plate collision -- all over again. Posey probably would have been willing to discuss the incident. However, he couldn't speak, due to his mashed vocal cords.
"Sorry," he croaked.Having tripled and scored in the top of the second inning, Posey doubled in the fifth and finished 2-for-4 to lift his National League-leading batting average to .334. Though Posey's still closely pursued by Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen (.330), he came one day closer to becoming the first player whose primary position is catcher to win the NL batting title since Ernie Lombardi of the 1942 Boston Braves.
"That's what I was doing the whole first half and into August," he said, referring to his success with marooning baserunners. "To be able to do that tonight feels better."Posey wasn't the only Giant under physical duress. Second baseman Marco Scutaro left the game with head and chest congestion before the Padres' half of the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, Scutaro beat out a dribbler to second base for a single, extending his Major League-high hitting streak to 16 games. Bochy gave the night off to right-hander Sergio Romo, who threw 21 pitches Thursday. The Giants thus entrusted the ninth inning to Santiago Casilla, who yielded a pair of one-out, pinch-hit singles before coaxing Jesus Guzman's popup and Carlos Quentin's groundout to secure his 25th save.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.