Heading into a three-game stretch at home, the San Francisco Giants are tied at one game apiece with the Kansas City Royals. Giants catcher Buster Posey, the best player left in this postseason, has struggled to provide punch to the middle of the Giants order. 12 games into the postseason, Posey has yet to record his first extra-base hit.
Since winning the starting catcher job for the Giants in 2010, Posey has established himself as the best catcher in baseball, and one of the top handful of players overall. As a 23 year-old rookie he helped the Giants take home the World Series in 2010, hitting .300/.333/.450 against the Texas Rangers.
Two seasons later, Posey was at it again. He had a monster regular season, batting an impressive .336/.408/.549. Posey ripped 24 home runs en route to taking home the National League MVP award. The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, and Posey hit his third home run of the postseason.
Posey had a hot first half in 2013, but ended the year with a whimper. After the All-Star break, he managed a mediocre .244/.333/.310 batting line with just two home runs and nine extra-base hits as the Giants finished 76-86. The first half of Posey’s 2014 season was less than spectacular. His .277/.333/.423 batting line was good for a catcher, but well below his lofty career standards.
However, the second half of the season saw Posey catch lightning in a bottle. He smashed the ball to the tune of a .354/.403/.575 line. His 181 wRC+ and 3.7 fWAR after the break were the best in baseball. While the Giants as a team posted a 35-31 record in the second half, Posey thrived.
This postseason has been underwhelming for Posey. He did enjoy a strong NLDS against the Washington Nationals, going 7-18. But, his overall 2014 playoff numbers are a pedestrian .288/.333/.288. 12 games into the playoffs, he’s still searching for his first extra-base hit. Only four times in his career has Posey gone longer than 12 games without an extra-base hit. Last season he endured a 15 game streak in August without recording an extra-base knock. He did the same thing in 2011.
From May 16 to June 3 of this year, Posey recorded a miserable .190/.191/.190 batting line. In his next 15 games he produced a .345/.355/.517 slash line. Overall Posey’s lack of power this postseason is more of an interesting anomaly than something that carries significant meaning going forward. He’s endured dry spells before, just like any other baseball player. His next three to five games could just as easily feature him lighting up Royals pitchers.