Melancon: 'Executed pretty well' in first SF outing

Melancon: 'Executed pretty well' in first SF outing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Melancon's initial Cactus League appearance as a Giant was exactly what the ballclub expected.

Three batters up, three down against the top third of the Chicago Cubs' batting order. A pair of ground balls, which Melancon specializes in coaxing with his cut fastball. In short, he delivered a thoroughly uneventful outing in the Giants' 8-6 Cactus League triumph.

The Giants handed Melancon a four-year, $62 million contract to sustain this monotony throughout the regular season.

Melancon, who recorded 47 saves in 51 chances last year for Pittsburgh and Washington, rated his command of the strike zone "not too bad." He added, "I thought I executed pretty well, being the first outing."

Melancon has amassed 147 saves since 2013, the third-highest total in the big leagues in that span. But none of them occurred with Buster Posey behind the plate. Thus, collaborating with the Gold Glove Award-winning catcher was a priority for Melancon to address.

"We talked pregame a little bit, having a plan, so it was fun to go out there, execute it and be on the same page," Melancon said. "I feel like we've done this for a while, which is great. His familiarity with me on the other side [as an opponent] has helped, I think, just understanding who I am."

Melancon pitched the third inning, enabling him to face two legitimate Major League hitters, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez, before reserves and rookies from both sides took over the game. Melancon has said that he'll begin acclimating himself to ninth-inning appearances later in the exhibition season.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.