Why Posey & not Susac
Friday, Sept. 12
SAN FRANCISCO — Explaining catcher Andrew Susac’s absence from San Francisco’s lineup in Friday night’s series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy explained simply that he wanted to continue to pair left-hander Madison Bumgarner with Buster Posey behind the plate.
Some basic statistics support Bochy’s reasoning.
Bochy might have been expected to start Susac behind the plate and Posey at first base to load the batting order with as many right-handed batters as possible against Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. With Posey catching, the Giants still had a right-handed bat at first base — Joaquin Arias, who entered the game on a .429 binge (15-for-35).
In 25 starts this year before Friday with Posey catching, Bumgarner recorded a 2.94 ERA, a ratio of 5.09 strikeouts per walk, a .233 opponents’ batting average and a .628 opponents’ OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). All were handsome numbers.
Susac, the rookie who has caught only three of Bumgarner’s starts since joining the Giants on July 26, has guided Bumgarner to a lower ERA (2.77) and a better strikeouts-to-walks ratio (8.00) than Posey. But Bumgarner’s opponents’ batting average and OPS rose to .300 and .774, respectively, when pitching to Susac.
Hector Sanchez, who’s sidelined by the effects of a concussion, guided Bumgarner to a 3.68 ERA, a 4.67 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, a .277 opponents’ batting average and a .755 opponents’ OPS.
— Chris Haft