SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently that Hector Sanchez could benefit from catching regularly during Buster Posey's injury-induced absence.
Bochy couldn't predict that catching a near-perfect game would be part of broadening Sanchez's experience.
As a former catcher, Bochy appreciated Sanchez's collaboration with Yusmeiro Petit on the latter's one-hitter Friday against the D-backs.
"When a guy throws a game like that, you have to look at the guy behind the plate. He's helping out," Bochy said. "It should do a lot for Hector. He's getting more time calling a game."
Sanchez batted .280 in 74 games as a rookie last year, but needed to improve his defense -- a priority that was difficult to address this season, which has been marred by a shoulder injury. Sanchez has worked hard to compensate for lost time, as the pitching staff's 2.66 ERA in his last 10 games before Saturday indicated.
Backup catchers have steered two Giants no-hitters. Before Sanchez nearly did so, Eli Whiteside caught Jonathan Sanchez against San Diego, July 10, 2009 and Gary Alexander caught John Montefusco at Atlanta, Sept. 29, 1976. Posey caught Matt Cain's perfect game last year and Tim Lincecum's no-hitter this season.
A day after, Petit reflects on near-perfect game
SAN FRANCISCO -- Of all the people who telephoned or sent text messages to congratulate Yusmeiro Petit on his spectacular near-perfect game Friday, one well-wisher meant the most to the Giants right-hander: His father, Alberto, who called Saturday from Venezuela.
"He told me he started crying after the sixth inning," Petit said.
Some pitchers might have wept had they endured the conclusion Petit did. He still couldn't believe that pinch-hitter Eric Chavez refrained from swinging at a 2-2 curveball that spun close to the strike zone. Chavez swung at Petit's next pitch and ended the night of perfection by singling with two outs in the ninth inning.
"I threw that curveball all game, and everybody swung at it," Petit said. "I'm surprised. I don't know how he didn't swing. He took it like he knew the curveball was coming."
Too excited to fall asleep immediately, Petit said that he watched a replay of the game until he dozed off around 3 a.m. PT. He'll need to catch up on his rest to continue his bid for a spot in next year's starting rotation. Petit has commanded attention by recording a 3-0 mark with a 1.71 ERA in three outings since the Giants summoned him in late August.
"He is a guy who should be considered in the rotation and will help out on the staff anywhere," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's doing what he needs to do, and that's make a lot of noise with his starts."
Improving Posey takes batting practice on Saturday
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants catcher Buster Posey took regular batting practice on Saturday, a clear sign that his fractured right ring finger is continuing to improve.
Posey didn't appear to swing hard, but lined a few pitches that would have been base hits. Giants manager Bruce Bochy reiterated that Posey might be able to return to the lineup in a couple of days.
Posey, who has missed four consecutive games since sustaining his injury Tuesday, also hit off a tee and played catch. Bochy said that the reigning National League Most Valuable Player likely will increase his level of baseball-related activities each day.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.