Pregame Wrap: Belt sits, Nate is Newest Hot Hand

The Giants open a 3-game set with the San Diego Padres today. Here are some quick thoughts about today’s lineup, which is as follows:

Schierholtz RF

Theriot 2B

Cabrera LF

Posey C

Sandoval 1B

Pagan CF

Arias 3B

Crawford SS

Vogelsong P

-With two home runs in yesterday’s game, Nate appears to have earned an extended audition in the outfield. The fact that Bochy is “riding the hot hand” is even more apparent when the start comes against Clayton Richard, a lefty. And while today it comes at the expense of Gregor Blanco, look for Bochy to use Schierholtz to spell Melky and Pagan, with Blanco moving into center field.

-Brandon Belt. Big breath and….sigh, exhale. Don’t you feel better? No? Me neither. After being banished to the 7-hole and being an OBP guy in front of out-machines Arias and Crawford, Brandon Belt sits today in favor of the aforementioned Arias. Pablo Sandoval instead makes his first start at first base this season, and the 54th in his career. This is the part where you are expecting snark, but I just don’t have it in me today. Especially with Belt’s batting average falling faster than MSG stock after the Knicks failed to match Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet from the Rockets. Oh, there it is. It always comes back. I don’t expect Belt to ride the bench too much, considering Huff’s continued recovery from suck-itis and Eli Whiteside being Posey’s lone backup at catcher. But for now, the Belt supporters retreat into the trees, waiting for their chance to rally behind the Baby Giraffe.

-While his career ERA is 4.12, Clayton Richard has a 3.64 ERA against the Giants and a 5-4 W-L record.