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Monday, August 15, 2011

Brandon Belt Returns With 2 HR Game

Well, the first game of the Marlins series looked a lot like what we saw all home stand from the Giants, good pitching, and very little offense. Luckily, they sparked the offense enough to salvage the last 2 games and win the Florida series, thanks in large part to the bat of Brandon Belt.

With Carlos Beltran missing the last week of play with his bum wrist, the Giants haven't had anyone really step up and fill his shoes. Cody Ross had a nice game 2 in his return to Florida, and Aubrey Huff has picked it up a lot in the month of August, but the only 2 guys in this lineup that are playing up to their standards are Pablo Sandoval and Jeff Keppinger. Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy each knew that they needed another bat up here while Beltran's recovering, and the team once again recalled top prospect Brandon Belt, who's destroyed AAA pitching this year and really has nothing left to prove down Fresno. Belt responded in a big way, hitting 2 balls out of Sun Life Stadium for his first multi-home run game in his big league career. Giants fans all across the Bay Area that had been pining for more Brandon Belt had to be thinking in their minds "Ha, I told you so!" With Aubrey Huff's struggles at the plate this season, the Giants have given Belt a few brief looks at first this season, but he's never been given a big stretch of playing time at once in the big leagues and Giants fans are hungry to see what he can do. I get the logic in playing Huff down the stretch in the pennant race, but it's mid-August right now, I don't think throwing Belt out there for a week's stretch of games will hurt the team, and it may end up paying huge dividends.

Not that I'm advocating relegating Huff to the bench. If the Giants offense is going to "Go" and they're going to reach the playoffs and make noise there, they need Aubrey Huff to be Aubrey Huff. Why not give him a 5-7 game stretch to just regroup and work on his swing, then if Belt isn't hitting after that, then Huff re-takes his spot, if Belt is hitting, then they use Huff accordingly. That's kind of how I'd do it right now. It's still not clear whether Carlos Beltran will land on the DL with this nagging wrist issue, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me, and that would open up another spot in the outfield so Huff and Belt could each be in the same lineup. The Giants just don't have enough offense to pick and choose who they play, they have to play the guy who's hitting, and right now, it certainly looks like that's Brandon Belt. The Giants recent losing stretch has cost them their strong hold of first place in the West, and for the first time in months, their looking up at a team in front of them. Now there's 6 weeks of baseball left, so a 2 game lead is really nothing. The Giants need to just forget about Arizona for a little while and concentrate on getting back to where they were in August of last season. It was about this time last year that the Giants went on the epic tear that ended with a parade down Market Street.

The Giants' road trip heats up a little bit today as they start a 4-game set with the Braves in Atlanta. It's the Giants first trip to ATL since they beat the Braves in the NLDS last fall and you know the Braves will be hungry for some payback. This should be another great measuring stick for San Francisco to see exactly where to stand against the NL Wild Card favorites.
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4 Comments:

  • At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Finally Brandon Belt plays! and look what happens. This guy can be as valuable as Buster at the plate if they let him play!

     
  • At 8:20 PM, Anonymous San Francisco Giants said…

    Brandon indeed is a great player and eventually he got the chance to come back that is a great thing to support the team by a great player.

     
  • At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Giants Fan Dan said…

    I bet Belt would have 20 homers and 60 RBI if he had as many AB's as Huff this season... Just sayin'!

     
  • At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and in depth information you offer.
    It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed information.


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