Calling the pitches and catching every one, Giants catcher Buster Posey has relied on his instincts and the input of the pitching staff, which has the option of shaking him off. It doesn't appear to happen very often.
In Game 3, a 2-0 Giants victory, Ryan Vogelsong retired Cabrera on a popup with the bases loaded and two down in the fifth inning. It turned out to be the Tigers' last gasp.
"I go with my gut," Posey said, referring to pitch selection. "I know Vogey goes with his a lot, too. If I put something down he's not convicted about, he lets me know."
Vogelsong went with an 0-1 fastball up and in that tied up Cabrera, who hasn't been able to get his powerful arms extended in the Series to launch his familiar drives deep to the gaps.
"With Cabrera, he executed two pitches," Posey said, "and got the best hitter in the game out."
Cabrera (2-for-9, both singles, one RBI) and Fielder (1-for-10, a single) have been held in check by a dominant Giants staff that has kept Detroit to three runs in three games and a .165 batting average. The Tigers have a .248 slugging percentage and .220 on-base percentage entering Game 4 Sunday night against Giants ace Matt Cain, who faces Max Scherzer.
"Our pitchers are kind of feeding off each other," Posey said. "They've got to be confident and trust in their stuff. They're doing a nice job of moving the ball around and not letting [hitters] get comfortable. It all comes down to executing pitches, and that's what our guys have been doing."
Pitching coach Dave Righetti referred to the staff's work overall as "grade A, so to speak," but resisted drawing comparisons to the 2010 champions.
"When the stretch ends," he said, "I'll let you know. We've got to pitch to win."