I look at the games from last Sunday (June 1st -8-0 win over St. Louis Cardinals), through Saturday, June 6th (6-4 win over New York Mets). I choose one position player and one pitcher as MVP each week from the San Francisco Giants.
Buster Posey, who batted .370, with a game-winning homerun on Friday night in the eighth inning against the Mets, is this week’s MVP from the position players, with special mention to Juan Perez for his startling two-run homer in the second game of the Cincinnati series, giving the Giants their first lead, 3-2, in a game they would go on to win by the same score.
I am awarding this week’s MVP for pitching to Juan Gutierrez, who pitched both Wednesday night against the Reds, and Saturday night against the New York Mets. He also pitched yesterday in the finale against the Mets. Altogether, he worked 2.2 innings, with no runs, one hit, no walks and four strike-outs.
For the week Buster had at least one hit in every game, for a modest six-game hitting streak, following three days of rest. The streak may be modest, but Posey has been struggling to regain his form, trying to work around a nerve issue in his back, and the return to any sort of consistency is a step in the right direction.
Another bright spot is his extra-base hit production, a two-run homer, which broke a 2-2 tie against the Reds, and a double in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Reds. Extra base hits have come at a premium for Posey this season. I’m wondering how much connection there is to the hitting streak and the facial hair on his chin. Superstition is a powerful element in the baseball locker.
The reason I chose Gutierrez is because he is a part of an iron-tight bullpen, and he has been successful all season. For the year he is 1-1, with a 2.93 ERA. He has appeared in 26 games, working 27.2 innings, while giving up 9 runs, on 20 hits, with 5 walks and 24 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 0.90.
Bruce Bochy, during the post-game interview on Sunday, referred to Gutierrez as his “bridge” to get the team from the sixth to the eighth inning.
A bridge allows passage from one side of a chasm to the other. Think of Gutierrez, along with the rest of the bullpen, as the bridge to get the Giants from the regular season to the playoffs. And Buster, as the catcher, makes sure they finish the job when they’re in there, just as he did in 2010 and 2012.