SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey turned on C.C. Lee's hanging slider and crushed it deep into the left field bleachers during the bottom of the sixth inning of the Giants' 5-3 victory against the Indians Saturday afternoon. The solo home run was Posey's first hit against a right-handed pitcher in Posey's past 25 at-bats.
He went 1-for-3 Saturday afternoon, but is just 4-for-his-past-41. That's an .096 batting average. What's going on with him?
“I'm getting asked that a lot,” Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said in the dugout before the game. “I'll keep saying the same thing: He's human. These guys go through their bumps in the road and they will have the occasional hiccup. That's the way this game is. I don't care how talented you are, you're going to go through it. He's going through his little thing right now but he will come out of it.”
Maybe the sixth-inning home run signifies the end of Posey's slump. Or maybe it signifies nothing — we expect Major League hitters to crush hanging sliders.
With all due respect to Bochy, Posey's slump is not a “little thing” or a “hiccup.” Posey's slump goes all the way back to last season's All-Star Break. That's 81 games, exactly one half of a season. Since then, Posey has been a bad hitter, the second-worst everyday hitter in the Giants' lineup, hitting .238 with seven home runs and 27 RBI.
A liability in the lineup.
For half of a season, Posey has hit worse than Hunter Pence, worse than Brandon Belt, and — if you can believe it — worse than Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval has hit .259 with seven home runs and 43 RBI since last season's All-Star Break – big-time numbers compared to Posey's puny production.
Posey has slightly outperformed just one everyday hitter on the Giants the past half season — Brandon Crawford, the Giants' defensive-specialist shortstop. He has hit a Posey-esque .224 with five home runs and 22 RBI during the same stretch.