Zito: 'They hit my pitches, so I've got to tip my hat'
Brandon Belt was 3-for-4 with two RBI against the Brewers Tuesday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
MILWAUKEE – Brandon Belt had his first three-hit game of the season Tuesday night but he could’ve had five – and his sacrifice fly in the sixth inning was an inch or two away from being a bases-clearing double.
“He’s swinging better,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I thought he threw out some pretty good at-bats today.”
[RECAP: Brewers 10, Giants 8]
Belt carried a .140 average into the game and he handled it reasonably well – certainly better than he dealt with the valleys in the past. But he acknowledged there were times he lost focus and abandoned his approach at the plate, simply for the sake of throwing a hit out there.
“Sometimes I wasn’t focused on having good at-bats,” he said. “I’d try to fillet something out there. You find out quick that doesn’t work.”
We caught up with Jeremy Affeldt after the Giants’ 10-8 loss. As you probably know by now, Affeldt is heading to the DL with a strained right oblique.
[NEWS: Affeldt headed for DL]
He said his side started to stiffen up Sunday but he had the adrenaline going and didn’t feel it while he was pitching at Wrigley Field. He knew it was something a little more significant when he woke up sore on Monday. He had dealt with an oblique issue on the left side in 2010 and the right side with the Kansas City Royals. He understood that if he kept pitching he could blow it out and be on the DL for two months. It’s on his power side, too.
So he spoke up, had the MRI exam and didn’t fight the decision to go on the DL. The strain is “moderate,” according to the tests, and Affeldt should be ready when his 15 days are up, or soon thereafter.
“It would’ve been detrimental to go out there and try to keep on pitching,” he said. “Five years ago, I wouldn’t say anything and end up being on the DL for six or eight weeks. The MRI was what we expected and I feel we caught it quickly enough to where this wasn’t a big one.”
I try not to delve too much into postgame platitudes, because every team will tell you that they believe and they have heart and they don’t give up to the last out and all that stuff.
But after watching the Giants on this road trip, and all of last October, of course, how could you disbelieve them?
Their comeback came up short, but it wasn’t because they had bad at-bats. Some of their hardest hit balls of the night were outs, and Gregor Blanco, who was 0-for-5, might win a grievance if he filed one.
“We don’t ever really get down,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “We kind of showed our resiliency last year and carried it into these first couple weeks.”
Nobody is panicking over Buster Posey’s quiet start. But imagine what a game like Tuesday’s would’ve looked like with even a mild contribution from their cleanup hitter and reigning MVP. Everyone expects Posey to get locked in any time now, and they certainly have good reason to feel that way.
I don't usually think in terms of fantasy baseball, but I've got to imagine someone out there just picked up Barry Zito based on two scoreless starts and also has Ryan Braun and Buster Posey on their team. And after looking at Tuesday night's boxscore, they probably want to punch themselves in the face.
The Giants were checking out of their hotel in Chicago when the Texas Rangers arrived. They’re starting a series at Wrigley Field.
It’s always fun when you see other teams on the road. You realize that we’re all kind of riding the same carousel.
Posey saw Yu Darvish and called out “Hey, Yu” as he strolled past.
Always a pleasure to see Jack Taschner, everyone’s favorite sworn officer of the Appleton Police Department, in the Giants clubhouse after the game. I will do my best to avoid any moving violations while in the great state of Wisconsin. But if I happen to get a parking ticket …
Hands down, my favorite baseball fan in the country is Milwaukee’s own @RALLYBANANA. I was glad to see him sitting in the left field seats above the Brewers bullpen. (Although “sitting” is not the best word to use. He’s usually dancing, or cheering, or playing air guitar.)
His powers were most formidable this time.
Thanks to Duane Kuiper, who brought kringle for everyone. I ate so much, I believe my ancestry is now German, English and Danish.
Still enough time left in the evening to add a drop of Scotch, too.