San Francisco, CA – All good things come to an end. Shutout for the second time this season, the Braves got their first victory over the Giants in five games when they won the decision 5-0. It was a rare win due to replays and a missed tag.
“It’s a shame I missed [the tag],” Buster Posey said. “Because that would have been a big out. It kind of flip-flopped the momentum.”
Jason Heyward leadoff the sixth with a single, Justin Upton followed with a fly out that moved Heyward to second. With one out, Freddie Freeman singled to right fielder Hunter Pence who immediately threw to home plate for the out.
Posey caught the ball and had enough time to tag Heyward out but instead of forcing a tag, he reached in arms length to open air as the 6’5 outfielder dove into home plate avoiding any contact made by Posey. Heyward was ruled safe by the home plate umpire.
“It was a reaction,” said Heyward. “It’s not the way you draw it up. I by no means would like to try it again with me running for home and the ball flying in from right field that far ahead of me. It’s just a hustle play and it worked.”
San Francisco challenged the play and a replay confirmed that Heyward was safe proving Posey had no contact at all. A shocking result for a catcher who genuinely believed he tagged him for the out. Unfortunately, for the Giants the inning began to unravel from there.
“I thought I was in the right position,” Posey said. “You just don’t really expect a big guy like that to move as well as he did. I guess players are getting more creative when sliding into home plate.”
Looking completely deflated after the call, Posey put his head down and watched Atlanta open up their offense to take a 4-0 lead after that play. The Braves scored three runs with back-to-back RBI singles from both B.J. Upton and Andrelton Simmons.
Ryan Vogelsong matched his career-high with eight strikeouts and marked the eighth time in his career he has struck out eight batters in a game. But just like Posey, Vogelsong reaction to the previous play affected him as well.
“I just didn’t make good pitches after that,” Vogelsong said. “He was safe and it’s my job to make pitches after that to get us out of there. I didn’t do it.”
The Giants had a chance to rally back when Mike Minor walked Angel Pagan bottom of the sixth. Pence followed with a double to left field moving both runners in scoring position but Posey struck out to end the inning leaving the runners stranded.
San Francisco went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and have failed to record a hit with RISP in four of their five games against Atlanta. The Giants still have a chance to take the series in the final game on Wednesday.