SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants catcher Buster Posey isn't have a postseason close to what he accomplished offensively during a brilliant 2012 season, but he's enjoying himself thoroughly as part of a team that simply has refused to buckle under pressure.
"Playing six elimination games [and surviving each time], I think we've kind of learned to play with pressure, with our backs to the wall," Posey said heading into Thursday night's Game 2 of the World Series against the Tigers. "I feel this team has really come together."
Posey, hitting .204 in the postseason with two homers and seven RBIs after leading the National League with his .336 average, had two hits and an RBI in the Giants' 8-3 victory. While it was all about Pablo Sandoval's historic three-homer night in the afterglow, San Francisco's offense overall had a big night against Detroit ace Justin Verlander and the Tigers' bullpen.
The top four hitters in manager Bruce Bochy's lineup -- Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Sandoval and Posey -- combined to produce 10 hits, seven runs and seven RBIs.
Largely because of their superb pitching and timely hitting, the Giants have outscored the opposition by 17 runs in 13 postseason games. This enabled them to rally from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in the NL Division and Championship Series, respectively, to stun first Cincinnati and then St. Louis.
"This club is right at the top as far as any club I've had [in] being unselfish and doing whatever has been asked of them -- even changing roles or their place in the batting order or taking a day or two off," Bochy said.
Injured Giants fan Stow attends World Series
SAN FRANCISCO -- Bryan Stow was at AT&T Park to root on the Giants in Thursday's Game 2 of the World Series against the Tigers.
The 43-year-old Giants fan was left in critical condition for six months after being assaulted by two men in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on March 31, 2011. The Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two sustained major skull and brain injuries in the assault as well as a medically induced coma.
The Giants said that Stow and his family wanted to take in the game in private and requested that there not be a ceremony held for him at the game.
Lincecum emergency-only option for Game 2
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are not expecting to have Tim Lincecum available out of the bullpen for Thursday's Game 2 of the World Series against the Tigers after he threw 32 pitches in relief in Game 1.
Lincecum faced seven batters in Wednesday's 8-3 win to open the World Series, striking out five batters in a perfect 2 1/3 innings. He had said after the game that he thought he'd be able to pitch in Game 2 if needed, but manager Bruce Bochy pointed to Guillermo Mota, George Kontos and Santiago Casilla as his main options out of the bullpen in the middle innings.
"We'll do all we can to stay away from him tonight," Bochy said of Lincecum on Thursday. "My guess is that he'll go out there today and throw and say 'I'm good.' But I don't see us using him outside of an emergency."
Lincecum has developed into a dangerous and dependable weapon for the Giants out of the bullpen, compiling a 0.84 ERA in 10 2/3 innings as a reliever this postseason.
Giants' hurlers pitching in on offense, too
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' pitchers have been doing themselves favors this October, providing offense to the tune of a record four-game hitting streak that includes RBIs in each of those four postseason games.Barry Zito's fourth-inning single off Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series ran that streak to four postseason games with not only a hit but an RBI from a pitcher, beating the previous streak of three such games by the 1970 Orioles pitchers in the American League Championship Series -- obviously back when pitchers had to bat in the AL, too. "Oh, it's been huge. Really Zito, [Matt] Cain, [Ryan] Vogelsong, that's helping your cause," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Pitchers can just help themselves in different ways, whether it's holding runners, fielding their position or find a way to get a bunt down or even drive in a run. "I mean, they're part of the offense, too, and that's why we, just like a lot of clubs, we spend a lot of time, they take batting practice every day. They bunt every day, and there's a good chance they could come up there and help themselves, and our guys have done a great job." With two RBIs this postseason, Zito became the first Giants pitcher to do that since Hal Schumacher in 1933. Of course, the Giants won't have the advantage of their swinging arms in Detroit starting with Game 3, and Bochy has said the designated hitter will come from a group that includes Hector Sanchez, Aubrey Huff and perhaps Pablo Sandoval, with Joaquin Arias taking over at third base.
Homer three-peat earns Panda high praise
SAN FRANCISCO -- Attention, Pablo Sandoval. The President is tweeting.In this case, the president is Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who saluted his slugging countryman after Sandoval hit his third home run in Wednesday's Game 1 of the World Series. Chavez's tweet translated roughly to, "Well, there goes the third! Pablo for history! Viva Venezuela!" That was among the avalanche of reaction to Sandoval's record-tying feat. Sandoval said Thursday that he received 300 text messages from family and friends. "You know, I still can't believe it," Sandoval said. "But you have to realize what's going on right now in your life. So you have to keep your head up and keep focused." Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was also inspired by Sandoval's effort.
"You can't dream about stuff like that. That's what makes it an amazing game," Selig said. "He did something last night that if you dreamt about it, they probably would want to find out what's wrong with you."Though Sandoval already was well-known in Venezuela, his Game 1 performance likely raised his profile significantly in his native country. Fans there are so ardent that some Venezuelan ballplayers wear disguises to maintain privacy when they return home. But Sandoval said that he wouldn't resort to this ploy. "I'm the kind of guy that spends time with fans out there, spends time with kids," he said. "That's what makes me happy out there."
Bonds enjoys watching Giants' Game 1 stars
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds was in the house for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night at AT&T Park, seated in his usual seats just behind home plate, and was thrilled to see the performances turned in by Barry Zito and Pablo Sandoval."It's great for Barry because I know how hard he worked to get to this point," Bonds said in a phone interview Thursday about the left-handed pitcher who was the winner in the Giants' 8-3 victory over the Tigers. "It was a tough go for him, but he worked his way through it." Bonds, Major League Baseball's all-time leader in home runs with 762, said he marveled about Sandoval's three-homer performance. "I can't believe what a great player Pablo has turned himself into," Bonds said. Zito signed his seven-year, $126 million contract just in time for the 2007 season, Bonds' last in a big league uniform and the year he passed Hank Aaron to take over first place on the all-time home run list. Zito struggled until this season when he finished 15-8 and helped the Giants to a seven-game victory over St. Louis in the National League Championship Series with his Game 5 win. The Giants were down 3-1 in the series at the time. Sandoval fought through a hand injury this season and hit only 12 homers. He has six already this postseason entering Game 2. Sandoval was on the bench and Zito wasn't even on the roster when the Giants defeated the Rangers in five World Series games two years ago. "I'm so happy for both of them that they are contributing this time around," Bonds said. Bonds flew home to Los Angeles after the game because of family commitments, but said he'd be back in San Francisco if the series returns for Games 6 and 7 next Wednesday and Thursday.
Chris Haft and Lyle Spencer are reporters for MLB.com. John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.