Mark Townsend

Posey and Panda collide, Giants avoid early disaster

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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As most of the country finished watching Cincinnati's meltdown in Philadelphia, a scary moment was taking place across the country in San Francisco.

While attempting to track a foul popup off the bat of Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward(notes), San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval(notes) and catcher Buster Posey(notes) collided at nearly full speed in front of their own dugout.

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Sandoval appeared to have an easy play on the ball charging hard down the third base line, while Posey ran out from behind the plate at an awkward angle. Crowd noise apparently hindered the communication between the teammates, and a cringe-inducing crash — maybe the biggest earth rattler since the 1989 World Series — was the result.

The collision looked nasty at full speed. Sandoval stayed face down on the grass for a good 10 seconds before getting to his feet. Meanwhile Posey — who caught and somehow hung on to the baseball — staggered back to his position in obvious discomfort.

Both men eventually shook off the impact to remain in the game, but both were clearly feeling the effects in the dugout when they were shown on television between innings. Sandoval was seen shaking the cobwebs loose, while Posey rubbed his sternum and ribcage as trainers looked on.

"It's just a little bruise," Posey later revealed. "I got the wind knocked out of me."

TBS later aired video and audio of home plate umpire Paul Nauert marveling at Posey's ability to walk away from the collision with Sandoval.

"That's a big boy," Nauert said to Posey.

As if he didn't know.

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