SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik has been coming across the bag the same way his whole life. In the second inning Thursday, he got a reminder that he'll have to adjust.
Panik became the first Giant -- and maybe the first player period -- to lose an out to the reshuffling of the "neighborhood play." The play in question was an Alex Wood grounder to short that appeared to end the second inning. Crawford shuffled the ball to Panik, who came across the bag with his left foot and then threw to first for the second out. The inning was over and the Dodgers had scored just one run, but as the Giants jogged off the field, Dave Roberts came out to protest.
Two minutes and 29 seconds later, Jake Peavy was back on the mound. Replay showed -- correctly -- that Panik's foot was a couple of inches above the bag when he fully grabbed the ball.
"Things happen so fast out there," Panik said. "I'm using the base as leverage."
The changed call put a run on the board and left Peavy facing Chase Utley with two in scoring position. He struck him out six pitches later, so ultimately it didn't cost the Giants much. They won the game, and this didn't end up being a Rays-Jays situation, where a new rule swings a result. Panik and manager Bruce Bochy called it a teaching moment.
"It's going to be an adjustment for some of these infielders," Bochy said. "They'll learn from something like this, and Joe will. (The throw) took him off, we could see it. I wasn't surprised to see it overturned.
Said Panik: "You're trying to get the ball in and out of your glove. Things happen so fast, it's tough. They're trying to get it right. It's a tradeoff."
In theory, this is supposed to help protect the Paniks and Brandon Crawfords of the world. This rule goes in concert with the one mandating that you have to slide right toward the bag, and Brandon Belt was called out for an illegal slide in the Bay Bridge Series. This is all being done in the name of safety, but not all players agree with it and it's going to take some getting used to. Bochy knew the old "neighborhood" rules inside and out and you could often see him glaring from the dugout when an opposing manager (hello, Mr. Mattingly) came out to ask for a review of a bang-bang play at second. Up until this month, those plays weren't reviewable.
"I'll be honest, I was fine with the neighborhood play," Bochy said. "But now that the rule has changed, I understand it. You're going to protect these infielders and they have to be on the bag."
--- My main story today is, of course, on the lineup. The lineup is good.
--- Jake Peavy said he never quite got comfortable on the mound, and the overturned call surely didn't help. What was going through Peavy's mind when he had to go back on the mound with two runners on? He paused. "I didn't have good thoughts," he said.
--- The Giants are 13-4 in home openers at AT&T Park. I know they prefer to start on the road and end at home, but given that success, one of these years they really should play the season opener here. Say, like in an odd year, when you might have something from the previous October to celebrate.
--- This is the first time since '84 that the Giants have scored at least 12 runs twice through the first four games, per ESPN Stats and Info. That would be 1884.