Bochy liking Lincecum-Sanchez pairing

Bochy liking Lincecum-Sanchez pairing

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hector Sanchez was behind the plate to catch Tim Lincecum's sixth straight start Wednesday afternoon as the Giants hosted the Cubs in the series finale.

While Buster Posey was still in the San Francisco lineup, he made the start at first base, his eighth of the year at the position. Lincecum has proven to be a tough pitcher to catch throughout his career with so many balls that often end up in the dirt. Manager Bruce Bochy said keeping Posey fresh has weighed on his decision to keep the Lincecum-Sanchez battery together.

"But now it's getting to a point where [Sanchez] has been catching him a lot and I think you just keep it that way," Bochy said. "It wasn't something planned, but the way it's worked out, they've been together now a few starts. He's going to get some starts, so why not keep him with the same guy?"

Looking at the numbers, it appears Sanchez has a great feel for calling games with Linecum on the mound. Entering play Wednesday, Lincecum had a 3.79 ERA and .268 opponents' batting average in six starts with Sanchez behind the plate, compared to a 5.95 ERA and .337 opponents' batting average in four starts working with Posey.

"You kind of keep him with the same guy so they can develop that rapport," Bochy said. "So you'll probably see Hector back there for the most part. It doesn't mean every time Timmy pitches, Hector will catch, but I'd say for the most part he will."

According to Bochy, Linecum hasn't experessed a preference between Sanchez and Posey.

"It doesn't matter. He's never, ever said anything," Bochy said. "I think he's comfortable with whoever's catching him, Buster and Hector. That's not part of it at all. This is more how it's worked out and more my thinking, 'Let's go ahead and keep the two together.'"

Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.