Belt encounters immediate adversity
Tuesday, April 5
SAN DIEGO — Brandon Belt is receiving a Major League test immediately.
His resolve and psyche, not to mention his hitting technique, are being challenged in his first week as a Giant. Belt’s batting .118 (2-for-17) overall after enduring his third consecutive hitless game in San Francisco’s 3-1 loss Tuesday to the San Diego Padres.
Later in the season, a hitless streak of this length would command little if any attention. But Belt’s under extra scrutiny as he strives to establish himself with a World Series-winning team.
“I think it’s magnified a little bit this early in the season,” he said. “You don’t like looking up there and seeing your average down in the .100s. But all I can do is put the bat on the ball, hopefully put some good swings on the ball, have some good at-bats and the rest will take care of itself eventually.”
Belt admitted that he may have swung at pitches he should have ignored in the last couple of days. He now knows that pitchers are teasing him.
“Looking back on tape, I probably swung at a few of their pitches,” he said.”So I’ll make adjustments tomorrow.”
Belt’s not the only struggling Giant. Left fielder Pat Burrell is batting .167 (3-for-18) with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, Aaron Rowand delivered yet another pinch hit and is batting .571 (4-for-7). But manager Bruce Bochy didn’t sound like he’d alter the lineup any time soon.
“We’re not through the first week yet,” Bochy said. “We’re not going to be making any changes.”
This is the same Bochy who used 126 different lineups last season. He might not wait much longer to try something new.
— Chris Haft