Scott Cousins — the man who flattened Buster — spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle earlier today. The upshot: he does not regret the play, which he thought was a clean, albeit hard-nosed play. He does, however, regret that Posey was hurt and, of course, never intended to hurt him:
I committed to it. I went in there hard. My instinct was just to check and make sure everyone was OK. I wanted to be a good sportsman about it. It is part of the game, but it’s a hard-nosed part of the game. You can’t change it, but you certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt. I wanted to knock the ball clean out of his glove, but I certainly didn’t want him to get hurt.”
This of course has led to a lot of “sure, you feel bad, but not as bad as Posey does” talk from both Giants fans and even from Bruce Bochy in an article I saw earlier this afternoon. Which I suppose is understandable. As the comments in the earlier Posey posts at HBT illustrate, there is a lot of varying sentiment about it. As far as I can tell the consensus is yeah, it was a legal play, and one we see a lot of in baseball, but Cousins attack vector may not have been advisable or necessary.
I still can’t shake one notion, however. The notion that if Cousins had held up short or taken a less-than-aggressive path to the plate and been called out, that a lot of people would be on him today for not going hard and giving that proverbial 110%.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.