Buster Posey Capable of Carrying San Francisco Giants Into 2014 MLB Playoffs

By John Shea
San Francisco Giants Buster Posey
Gary A. Vasquez- USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants‘ hot-hitting catcher is their best chance to overcome a 3.5-game deficit in the NL West and beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers. Buster Posey has been on an absolute tear over the Giants’ past nine games, raising his batting average by nearly 20 points while bashing five home runs and racking up 13 RBIs.

Posey’s ability to consistently deliver big hits in the middle of the Giants’ order is exactly what the orange and black need to make another deep postseason run. The Giants are virtually unbeatable when Posey drives in more than one run, recording a 15-3 record. His recent surge has been perfectly timed.

The Giants had struggled to score runs for the better part of three months before Posey’s explosion. The orange and black are averaging 5.4 runs per contest since the infamous “TarpGate” game, which is when Posey’s torrid stretch began. If Posey continues to produce at a high level on offense, the Giants are going to be one of the most difficult teams to beat in all of baseball in September.

The Giants have been here before: counted out due to lackluster play. It’s true the rival Dodgers look like a more competent World Series contender, but the Giants somehow just seem to have what it takes to excel during the season’s most pressing moments. Posey is the biggest reason for that.

The 2012 National League MVP added 10 pounds of muscle over the offseason to avoid breaking down during the season’s stretch run. His hard work in the weight room is paying dividends. Posey is on the verge of posting numbers similar to what he achieved during the second half of the Giants 2012 title run, slashing a .342/.394/.572 batting line in 165 plate appearances since the All-Star Break.

Posey wasn’t statistically noteworthy when fan voting ended for the Midsummer Classic, but has reestablished himself as one of the game’s most clutch hitters ever since. The Giants’ franchise player owns a .438 average over the past 14 days, enabling San Francisco to take over the top Wild Card spot in the NL.

Posey’s .385 average in August is his best single-month mark since July of 2012. The Giants’ indispensable backstop owns a .333 average in late and close situations, meaning that he’s one of the most effective hitters in game-on-the-line situations. He’s doing exactly what the Giants need him to do in order to stun the Dodgers and potentially win their third World Series title in a span of five seasons.

After appearing average for a decent chunk of the 2014 campaign, Posey is surging to new heights. His play over the past two weeks has catapulted the Giants into a favorable position in the NL playoff picture. The Giants are quietly reemerging as a serious championship contender, and they’re doing it mainly because of Posey.

John Shea is an MLB writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @real_johnshea. Like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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