The lineup for Game 4 was released just after 9:30 am local time, and supporters of Brandon Belt are not happy.
Here’s the full lineup.
Because this is causing so much consternation (on Twitter, anyway), let’s do the unthinkable and delve into the mind of Bruce Bochy to see if we can figure out what he’s thinking. This doesn’t mean I’m in favor of Buster Posey moving to first and Belt sitting against Cincinnati Reds starter Mike Leake; more like I’m trying to wrap my head around this decision.
— The offense has been as stagnant as the water underneath the BART pedestrian bridge at the Coliseum. Bochy feared a winter of second-guessing himself if the Giants were stymied once again today and he had never given Sanchez one plate appearance.
— On that note, Belt is 1-for-9 this series with four strikeouts — three coming yesterday. Belt’s failure to put the ball in play in the 10th probably fried Bochy all evening and all night, even though the Giants were still able to score in that inning.
— In his last four (regular season) games, Sanchez went 6-for-13 with a HR and a walk.
— Barry Zito is going to have a short leash, but the first guy behind him in line is Tim Lincecum. I’m not sure if this has been reported, but Zito and Lincecum apparently prefer to throw to Sanchez over Posey. Oh, and this tweet conveniently appeared a few minutes after I wrote those last two sentences:
— Aubrey Huff is 0-for-3 in the NLDS, with his 3-pitch strikeout yesterday taking roughly 18 seconds to complete. That was a painful at-bat to watch for Bochy, since Ryan Vogelsong was standing near him in the dugout with smoke coming out of his ears and the prospect of several innings for the relievers had to have been frightening.
— That’s not to say Belt replaces Huff as the lefty pinch-hitter, but at least Bochy has options.
— In a related story, I’m really reaching here…
— Whether you need to drown your sorrows because you’re in the #FreeBelt camp or you want to celebrate because you’re one of those who think Sanchez should catch as often as possible, come watch this afternoon’s game at The Boardroom. I’ll be there starting at 1 pm.