Aaron Rowand

Brandon Belt, freed

It doesn’t make for great television, but whenever a professional cameraperson loses track of an opposite field home run — because it was hit too high and too far — you know the ball was crushed. Brandon Belt, welcome to the team (again). It has to feel good for Belt to be a fan favorite this early on, but that’s what he is. The next time Belt sits against a lefty in favor of a lineup that includes Aaron Rowand, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff, there are going to be hundreds of broken cellphones and laptops throughout the Bay Area and #FreeBrandonBelt will become a trending topic once again.

2 home runs in one game. 4 on the season, the same number accumulated in 2011 by Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada. The only difference is Belt has 82 at bats and Rowand and Tejada have 313 and 302 at bats, respectively. In a related story, Belt has 11 walks. One more walk this season than Rowand, one fewer than Tejada.

Let me repeat: Belt has the same amount of home runs and walks as both Rowand and Tejada, in less than 1/3 the time.

Thankfully, the Giants still have time to recover from the boneheaded way they’ve handled Belt this season. They’re only 1.5 games behind the D-Backs, who are trailing the Mets 3-2 in the 5th inning as I write this. We can bitch and moan all day long about the Giants’ love for veterans with gamertude, but the 300+ plate appearances Belt should have had this season aren’t coming back. The only way sanity will prevail among us is to stop worrying about things we can’t control, and celebrate two things.

1. The Giants won a series most figured they’d surrender.

2. Belt’s 2-HR day was so impressive (even more so than his lowly 1-HR, 2-run double game against the Dodgers that most figured would lock up a starting spot for Belt at the time), he’ll definitely start for the Giants through the rest of the season.

Belt had better become an everyday player, anyway. The health of smart phones and computers throughout the region depend on it.

Ryan Vogelsong: not a fluke

— Is he someone the Giants can count on next season, or will he be the next Andres Torres? At this point it doesn’t matter; Vogelsong proved once again today that, like Torres last year, he’s a guy the Giants can count on in 2011.

— I wrote yesterday that Nate Schierholtz might be “taking one for the team” by playing through his hip flexor injury, but over the last couple games he didn’t look hurt at all. Maybe it was much ado about nothing.

— Still no Carlos Beltran, who for some reason uses a photo of a wax statue of himself for his Twitter avatar.

— Cody Ross finally stopped the Giants’ MLB record-setting streak at 21 consecutive solo homers with a 2-run shot in the third. That was followed by three straight solo shots (one for Schierholtz along with two for Belt), as the Giants look hellbent on one-upping themselves in this extremely odd statistical category.

— If Ross is heating up, there’s absolutely no reason at all to play Rowand for a while (like, the rest of the season).

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