SAN FRANCISCO — The sign of appreciation has been placed over the spot he called home for so long here at Oracle Park.
The Giants' grounds crew just dropped an orange, circular, tarp-like sign and staked it down right about where his cleats sank into the dirt so often. The sign reads: "THANK YOU BUSTER."
It's Buster Posey Day at the ballpark.
There is a lectern set up near the pitching mound, and that is flanked by rows of chairs filling the infield. As recently as Friday night, there were tickets available for $28. Posey retired at the end of the 2021 season, after helping to backstop the Giants to 107 wins and batting .304, and did not make that decision until the schedule had run out and there was no chance for the Giants and the Giants fans to say goodbye. There will be gifts. There will be honors. There will be speeches.
And once the celebration of the Giants' 35-year-old, Gold Glove-winning, World Series-winning catcher is over that tarp will come up and the Cardinals' 39-year-old, Gold Glove-winning, World Series-winning catcher will report to his position in the spot now covered up.
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Yadier Molina, Posey's contemporary and comparison and eventual colleague in Cooperstown, will try to guide lefty Steven Matz to a series victory.
The first two games of the series in San Francisco have been two of the Cardinals' finer games of the season. There was the seven-run output against nine different pitchers in Thursday's game, and that was followed late Friday by a vintage defensive game and some timely hitting from two young hitters. Juan Yepez had the first-pitch double in the ninth inning to put the winning rally in gear, and Dylan Carlson lashed the game-winning hit for a 3-2 victory.
Matz returned from the bereavement list Friday and will make his sixth start of the season coming off his best start at Busch Stadium.
Some quick pregame notes:
• Jack Flaherty completed a 30-pitch bullpen sessions and increased the intensity of his throws as he went, building to some windup-unleashed fastballs that showed no signs of hesitancy.
• Adam Wainwright continues to be symptoms-free and feeling good, manager Oliver Marmol said. He may remain in San Francisco at the team hotel when the Cardinals return home Sunday night. The Cardinals are working through that now based on his test results. Edmundo Sosa has returned to St. Louis.
Here are the lineups for the evening game, once the ceremony is over:
1. Tommy Edman, 2B
2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Tyler O'Neill, LF
5. Juan Yepez, DH
6. Dylan Carlson, RF
7. Harrison Bader, CF
8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Paul DeJong, SS
P: Steven Matz, LHP
1. Austin Slater, CF
2. Mauricio Dubon, SS
3. Brandon Belt, 1B (added to active roster Saturday)
4. Darin Ruf, DH
5. Wilmer Flores, 3B
6. Luis Gonzalez, LF
7. Thairo Estrada, 2B
8. Joey Bart, C
9. Mike Yastrzemski, RF
P: Logan Webb, RHP
There will be coverage throughout the night here at C-Beat from Oracle Park, and, as always, there will be complete and expanded coverage in the pages of the Sunday Post-Dispatch. Also, consider subscribing to the new app from the Post-Dispatch: STL Pinch Hits. It is a single subscription for all of the sports coverage at the paper, plus expanded coverage of the Cardinals' minor leagues, Cardinals' history, and more coming.