Earlier this week, Buster Posey became the first baseball player to have his own mobile game when “Buster Bash” was released.
The timing and title of that game couldn’t be any more appropriate because since the All-Star break, Buster’s been bashing anything and everything thrown his direction.
He extended his hitting streak to 11 games Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals and his three-run homer in the first inning gave him five homers in his past six games.
With his average up to .328 on the season and .448 since the break, Posey has to be one of the favorites to win the National League MVP.
It’s hard to fathom Posey could be in this position 15 months ago.
There he was, rolling around in agonizing pain after the Marlins’ Scott Cousins barreled him over at home plate. The nasty collision broke his leg and tore ligaments in his ankle, costing him most of the 2011 season.
But he worked his way back, slowly at first in the spring, and was back behind the plate on Opening Day. From there, it’s been a steady climb to All-Star starter and now he’s among the elite players in the National League.
Posey likely won’t win any statistical categories this season, but his 73 RBIs are among the NL leaders and his 18 homers are impressive considering his home park. Of Posey’s 18 dingers, only four have come at AT&T Park, where the Giants have hit just 17 as a team.
And in a lineup where Brandon Crawford and Ryan Theriot are as likely to pump one out of the yard as Lou Seal, Posey has been the lone consistent power producer for San Francisco.
Yes, Melky Cabrera has hit all season long — and a case could be made for him as an MVP candidate — but Posey’s recent power surge, coupled with the fact that he manages one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, puts the catcher a notch above.
If the MVP voting were held today, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen should be the clear-cut winner. McCutchen is hitting .373 with 23 homers and has his club in position to snap a 20-year playoff drought.
Anyone who can nearly single-handily lift the rotting franchise that is the Pirates on their back and into the postseason should win the Medal of Valor, let alone the MVP.
Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun could end the season with the most eye-popping statistics, but the Brew Crew are long out of it. The Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto would be a legitimate candidate, but he’s been hit by injuries.
The Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday could be in the mix, but to me, it’s down to Posey and McCutchen.
The MVP is McCutchen’s to lose, but if the Pirates should sink in the standings or McCutchen’s remarkable run tails off, the door is open for Posey to step through it.
Or rather, “bash” it down.
Dylan Kruse is the sports editor of The San Francisco Examiner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @dkruse16.