Giants rookie starts as Posey rests foot, helps Samardzija win first game
By Owen Perkins
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- Giants rookie Trevor Brown started the season with four years of professional baseball under his belt. His highest homer tally for a full season was three -- over the course of 97 games at Class A Augusta. He's matched that total in his first two starts of the season with the Giants, breaking up a no-hitter against the Dodgers on Friday night with a two-run blast and plating a career-high four RBIs with two more two-run shots in Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Rockies.
"What a day Brownie had," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Great job behind the plate and of course with the bat. He's had a great start here in his first two starts. This kid earned his spot on the club. He's back there to handle this staff, and the hitting is icing on the cake. Just a game I know he'll always remember."
The texts Brown had waiting for him on his cell phone ensured there'd be no chance of forgetting the game that put him in the same sentence with Kevin Mitchell, the last Giant to have his first three hits of the season all be home runs. "What happened? Who is this guy?" his friends were texting.
"If I was thinking about the entire season, I would have thought I might end with three -- and, knock on wood, I still might end with three," Brown said. "I certainly didn't think my first three hits were going to be home runs."
The start came as a result of Buster Posey taking a foul tip to the foot off the bat of Chase Utley on Sunday afternoon. But the performance gave Bochy and the Giants the confidence to know they can rely on Brown to do more than simply spell Posey.
"He's going to be really big for us," Samardzija said of Brown. "Obviously we all know Buster is a given, but to have another guy back there doing what he's doing, and to have him do what he's doing with his bat, I'm just really excited for him. It's good to see young kids have success and do it the right way."
The chemistry between Samardzija and Brown was key to the right-hander's eight innings of two-run ball -- lowering his career ERA at Coors Field to 2.01 in 22 1/3 innings and earning his first win as a Giant.
"You're comfortable with him," Samardzija said. "Sometimes young guys, when you shake them off, they get a little disheartened, and then maybe kind of sit back and let you do what you want to do. But he stays in the game the whole time, even if you shake him. He's thinking with you. 'Why did you shake me?' To see a forward-thinking guy like that behind the plate is important, because you need your catcher to be cerebral and remember what happened in the past."
After stealing the show from the other Trevor -- the Rockies' Trevor Story, who came into the game with seven homers in his first six games until Samardzija and Brown shut him down -- it was a night Brown can't help but remember.
"It's been a crazy first couple games," Brown summed up. "It's been awesome. So much fun."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.