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Monday, August 22, 2011

Belt's Bat Saves Giants in Houston

Well, the Giants got some more bad news on the injury front this weekend in Houston, but thanks to Brandon Belt, they were able to salvage the finale Sunday and move back to within 1.5 games of first in the West.

On the injury front, Brian Wilson's arm was bad enough to the point that they DL'd him, which I'm sure was the last thing they wanted to do with Sergio Romo already down. Luckily, the Giants bullpen hasn't missed a beat without their two best arms, even though the team struggled again in Houston. They were shut down in the first two games, as they were shut out in game one, then Madison Bumgarner was rocked in game 2. They did, however, manage to figure it out just in time to avoid being swept back to San Francisco though, thanks in large part to the bats of Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval. Brandon Belt has all the sudden found his stroke at the big league level, and I think it's going to be impossible for Bochy to sit this guy with the way he's played this last week. Belt had a 2-HR game earlier on the trip in Florida in the only game the Giants won there, then had the day of his young career Sunday at home in Houston, going 4-5 with another HR and 3 RBI. The hit total and RBI total were each career highs at the big league level, and more than anything, a statement from Brandon Belt that he can help this offense in a big way. The Giants don't win the game though if not for outstanding relief work in place of emergency starter Dan Runzler, and one big swing of the bat by Pablo in extra-innings. Sandoval hit the game winning 2-run homer in the 11th inning to send the Giants back to San Francisco on a positive note.

Now, with their return home, the Giants should have some reinforcements on the way. The club is very much hoping to have their all-star right fielder back in the lineup on Tuesday when he's eligible to come off the DL. If not Tuesday, Carlos Beltran should return to the Giants lineup at some point this week, and I expect him to take off when he does. I'm just going to be very curious as to what Bruce Bochy does with the lineup card once Beltran does return, cause someones going to be the odd man out. With the way Belt is swinging the bat, I'm sure Bochy wants to have him in there more often than not, and he also has to find a spot for the teams best defensive outfielder and one of their steadier bats, Nate Schierholtz. The logical choice would be to just throw Belt at first and move Huff into a bench/platoon role, but I just don't see that happening. Huff has started to pick it up a bit with the bat lately (.294/3/6 in August) and we all know how Boch likes those vets in a pennant race. Therefore, I could see Schierholtz losing the most at-bats once Beltran returns, with Belt getting 1/2 the starts in left and about 25% of the games at first, which would put his bat in the lineup 3 out of 4 nights while still giving Schierholtz and Huff plenty of at-bats. I'd still like to see Beltran in center with Nate in right and Belt in left, but that won't likely happen.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous VogeyLinceCain said…

    I'm a big Aubrey Huff fan, but Belt needs to be starting at first base. It's like Molina holding back Posey last year....

  • At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope the Giants don't trade anymore prospects for any other veterans. No on Heath Bell!

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