Brandon Belt is the most controversial player in San Francisco baseball history, World Series era. This sound ridiculous, of course, that a 25-year-old first baseman who is progressing nicely in his career is causing so much heat on the airwaves and on Twitter. Like a heartbroken person talking about their ex, every conversation about the Giants eventually devolves into a conversation about Belt.
Belt’s insertion into the 3-hole is a coup for all of his supporters. It’s also the greatest opportunity for #BeltBash. Today’s results for Belt won’t make or break his career, but it be a moral victory if he sent one into the water in the first inning. An 0-4, four-strikeout performance (like Yasiel Puig two nights ago) would make KNBR more unlistenable than usual.
Of course, you can’t talk about Belt hitting third without talking about who isn’t hitting third. Hey Bruce Bochy, who’s batting third? You don’t know? Okay, thanks.
Pablo Sandoval is not hitting third. Or at all, really. The fat man has just three hits in his last 43 plate appearances, dropping his overall line to .259/.298/.378. His season OPS of .676 places him ahead of only Andres Torres and Joaquin Arias for Giants players with at least 100 at-bats. With Joaquin Arias on the disabled list following an appendectomy, the Giants are left to ride out Sandoval’s cold streak with white knuckles on the dugout railing. Or Nick Noonan. Give me knuckles.
The Giants get their second look at pitching phenom Matt Harvey, having handed him his first career loss last July 31. Some tidbits about that game:
-Tim Lincecum got the win after giving up one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Timmy pitches tonight.
-Ramon Ramirez gave up an earned run. As a Met, remember.
-Jeremy Affeldt got a two-inning save.
-Ryan Theriot batted second
-A Hairston scored the game’s first run. You don’t care which one
Here’s the lineup against RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27 ERA):
RHP Lincecum (4-9, 4.66 ERA)