SAN FRANCISCO Brandon Belt felt like he was going to throw up in the ninth inning. Belt felt even worse two innings before that.
With Matt Cain closing in on the 22nd perfect game in major league history, and the first in the Giants 129 years as a franchise, Belt sat down in the dugout after the seventh inning to take a deep breath.
I sat down and Cainer just stopped and stared at me, said Belt, whose eyes grew wide with panic. Yeah, I guess everything was OK until I sat in his seat.
Pitchers with no-hitters might as well have smallpox. They sit in one end of the dugout, with room to spare. Everyone else crowds at the other end. Belt realized he was in the worst possible place.
I went and sat down next to Vogelsong and tried not to think about it, Belt said, sheepishly. Hey, he picked me up.
This isnt Belts first brush with baseball superstition.
The other day I picked the ball up off the mound and threw it to Timmy (Lincecum) and he kind of looked at me, Belt said. He likes to pick up the ball and start it himself. Hey, you never want to get a pitcher out of his groove."
Belt is finally finding his groove. It took him all season to hit his first home run Wednesday night. He added another on Thursday, along with an RBI hit.
Honestly, what I did at the plate tonight, I could care less about that, he said. It was just so incredible to be a part of this. We knew it was going to happen eventually. I knew this pitching staff had it in em. But it never really registered to me that I could play in a perfect game.
He had a veteran's sense when it ended, though. After leaping from first base upon receiving the final out, Belt tucked the game ball in his back pocket before joining Cain and Buster Posey in their embrace of elation.