Brandon Belt

Giants win seventh straight, Vogelsong and Belt loving life in May


We could focus on how this was a very Coorsy game. There was a rain delay in the bottom of the ninth that lasted an hour and 44 minutes, and the Giants won 11-8 after taking a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning.

But we’ve seen a bunch of Coorsy games over the years. We get it. The laws of baseball don’t apply when  the games are played at a mile high. I’m more interested in Ryan Vogelsong and Brandon Belt, because those two dudes were horrendous in April and now they’re awesome.

Vogelsong pitched six shutout innings in the rain, allowing two hits and three walks and lowering his ERA to 4.60. The numbers look nice, but the pitches were even better. Specifically, the fastballs. I’m not sure if Buster Posey calls more fastballs than other catchers, but he’s definitely a catcher who’ll ride a good fastball if he trusts what he sees. And Vogelsong’s fastball command was ridiculously good. He even got squeezed quite a few times (the Ben Paulsen walk comes to mind) and got through it. 

Back on April 29, Vogelsong gave up four home runs in a start against the Dodgers. Many Twitter users placed toe tags on the supposed cadaver otherwise known as Vogelsong’s major league career. Belt went 2-for-4 that night, and was showing signs of coming out of an epic early-season slump. However, no one cared at the time because the Giants were 9-13 and he hadn’t hit a home run yet. While his OPS wasn’t .220 (like it was on April 17) anymore, .614 didn’t match what anyone hoped for, or even expected, since Belt was supposed to pick up a lot of the no-Morse/no-Panda slack.

Belt’s OPS is an emergency for opposing pitchers (.911, and my sincerest apologies). His May numbers: .375/.430/.694. He has four homers in his last six games, including this bomb that Duane Kuiper said was “fun to call” on the radio side.

For whatever reason, the “home run tracker” they use during the KNBR broadcasts said Belt’s home run went 410 feet. No, it went 475. Splash Hit No. 69 should be coming any day now …

Extra BASGs

— I wasn’t there, so I’m not going to steal the beat writers’ stories and go on and on about the delay and what the Rockies decided to do, but it sounds like a fireworks show wasn’t the best idea.

— Wait, Jake Peavy isn’t broken?

— Matt Duffy went 3-for-5 with a home run. Casey McGehee struck out in his lone plate appearance. I’m tempted to look at Vogelsong and Belt and say, “See, this is why the Giants stand by their guys.” But McGehee isn’t one of their guys yet. Oh well, they’ve gone 20-8 since their season’s low point and now they have the seventh-best record in all of baseball. McGehee isn’t as much of a pressing concern as he was a month ago.

— Jeremy Affeldt’s ERA jumped to 6.00 after giving up five hits and four earned without recording an out, and according to Kuiper, Brandon Crawford made fun of his GMC commercial after he gave up a homer on the previous road trip. But Affeldt is also one of the best postseason relievers in franchise history. It’s a confusing sports game, this baseball.

— The lowest batting average (I know batting averages don’t matter anymore, but bear with me) of the Giants’ starters (other than Vogelsong, who hit a double and is now hitting .214) after Friday night’s game was held by Nori Aoki, who’s hitting .289. The starting pitching has been amazing, and 34 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings was something to behold, but their seven-game winning streak wouldn’t be possible without 51 runs over that span and the offense suddenly looking legit (like the rest of the team).

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