The excitment of scoring four runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Florida Marlins in the Wednesday May 25th game disappeared instantly for the San Francisco Giants after a horrific 12th inning collision at home plate that will cost Giants catcher Buster Posey the rest of the 2011 season.
With Florida leading 6-2 in the 9th, the Giants scored 4 runs to tie the game. The scored remained 6-6 until the top of the 12th inning, when Marlin’s outfielder Scott Cousins attempted to score from third base on a Emilio Bonifacio fly.
Giants right fielder Nate Schierholtz caught the ball and rifiled a throw to home plate to nail Cousins. The ball appeared to get to Posey an instant before Cousins barreled into the Giants’ catcher to dislodge the ball. The collision bent Posey backwards on his ankles, and he was obviously seriously injured as he was assisted off the field by team trainers.
Cousins’ run held up as Florida got three quick outs in the bottom of the 12th to win the game 7-6.
While the Giants scheduled Posey for a series of medical tests Thursday morning, word leaked out from several players and reporters that Posey’s left leg was broken and he had also suffered torn ligaments. He will miss the rest of the season and will face a long rehab program to get back to the Major Leagues.
Scott Cousin’s decision to charge into Posey brings up an ongoing MLB debate about hard contact plays at home plate. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy had previously called for additional rule protections for catchers who are defenseless as they attempt to catch the ball while a runner is about to administer a full tilt body slam. Giants’ broadcaster Duane Kuiper also stated that baseball must change their rules to prevent serious injuries to catchers during violent collisions at home plate.
The National Football League has taken strict action in recent years to stop helmet to helmet hits and unimpeded body slams. Violations include assessments against NFL teams during games and hefty individual fines against violating players.
Posey was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2010, and was considered San Francisco’s team leader as they went on to win the 2010 World Series.