Sandoval continues to amaze; Lincecum, Posey linked

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In the eighth inning of the Giants’ 5-1 loss to Seattle on Monday, Pablo Sandoval singled through the right side of the infield. Given Sandoval’s .442 batting average, that wasn’t startling.

What WAS startling was that Sandoval hit a pitch that skipped in the dirt. It was just another example of the 22-year-old switch-hitter’s free-swinging tendencies — and of his considerable skill.

“Some guys are meant to get hits all the time,” veteran Rich Aurilia marveled.

Hitting coach Carney Lansford said, “We have people coming out early to work with guys on that swing.” Lansford was joking … we think.

Another event worth remembering was the first on-field collaboration in an organized game between right-hander Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey, who caught the final three innings. If the baseball gods smile upon the Giants, this will be the first of many times Lincecum and Posey work together. It was believed to be the first time that winners of the Golden Spikes Award (given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player) formed a battery.

“He needs to get back there,” Lincecum said. “It’s good for both of us to get a feel for each other. It’s a little different because we haven’t gotten a chance to see what kind of pitcher and what kind of catcher we are.”

Lincecum related that Posey, who didn’t call pitches in college, understandably struggled with this task.

“He’s like, ‘I don’t know what [signs] to give you, man,’ ” Lincecum related good-naturedly. “He’s just throwing down numbers and stuff. I was like, ‘OK, sounds like a good pitch.’ ” 

1 Comment

Pablo Sandoval really amazes me. I always joked with my friends that he could probably get a hit out of a ball thrown in the dirt… but I didn’t think he’d actually do it! And I couldn’t believe that story about how he LIKED getting hit in the mouth by that grounder. He really is a gamer!!

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