Giant fans don’t like the sight of Eli Whiteside in the lineup. That usually means that Buster Posey has a day off (if he’s not playing first base), although nowadays the situation is more permanent after the 2010 Rookie of the Year broke his fibula on Wednesday night.
But even though Giant fans would clearly rather see Posey play everyday than Whiteside, they must have a little more respect and admiration for the backup catcher after what transpired Friday night in Milwaukee.
With two outs and the Giants nursing a 5-3 lead against the Brewers in the 8th, Jonathan Lucroy drove in Ryan Braun with a single to left to cut San Fran’s lead to one run. Trying to score from second on the play was Prince Fielder, who came barreling down the third base line at Whiteside as Cody Ross threw a perfect one-hopper to the plate.
Giant fans watching as the 275-pound built-like-a-Mac-truck Fielder came rushing full-bore at Whiteside immediately felt their hearts jump into the their throats after witnessing what was done to Posey two nights prior. But Ross’ throw was early, so Whiteside had enough time to catch it, set his feet and take Fielder head-on. Not only did he absorb the blow from the Milwaukee
linebacker first baseman, but he also held onto the ball to end the inning and the Brewers’ scoring threat. The Giants eventually held on by that same 5-4 score.
After the game, Whiteside told reporters: “If he’s coming at you, you can go at him. No rule in the book says you can’t take it to him.”
How do you not love that if you’re a Giants fan? It certainly doesn’t ease the pain of losing Posey for the entire season, but you have to love how Whiteside (who isn’t a jockey at 6-2, 220 pounds) wouldn’t back down. I don’t know how long this video will be up before the powers at be take it down, but here’s the play:
I love Fielder’s expression at the end of the play. “Seriously, dude hung on? And did he just toss the ball over my head?”