Giants general manager Brian Sabean made it clear that the team has noplans to trade first baseman Brandon Belt, despite his recent struggles andlimited playing time.Comcast SportsNets Jim Kozimor asked Sabean on Chronicle Live if Belt could bepart of a trade deadline deal. As of right now, no, Sabean said. Belts a part of ourpresent and future.Those words seem to suggest that Belt will be given the opportunity towork himself out of a current 3-for-30 slump over his last 12 games.Hes still a young player trying to learn at the major league level, Sabeansaid. I think hes in a mode now where hes again thinking too much andworrying about mechanics instead of just attacking the baseball.Belt has seen his playing time diminish with Buster Posey starting atfirst base when Hector Sanchez, before his injury, started at catcher.Quite frankly, with how we were mixing and matching with Posey playing firstand Sanchez catching a little bit more kind of took him out of the mix, Sabeansaid. He knows what he needs to do. Hes very capable. Hes got all the talentin the world; its just a matter of picking it up.In his second big-league season, the 24-year-old Texas native is batting .244 with a .356on-base percentage. He has four home runs and 31 RBIs in 205 at-bats and owns a6137 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
LOS ANGELES — Mac Williamson was sent up to pinch-hit when the Giants faced Clayton Kershaw earlier this month, and on a two-strike count, he watched as Kershaw shook off five different signs as he stood on the mound. Kershaw then froze Williamson with a fastball. It was a good lesson for Williamson, a player still trying to find his footing at the big league level.
“He’s a guy you can’t really guess with,” Williamson said.
The outfielder admits he tends to overthink things. “I’m a perfectionist,” he said Sunday. But given a start against Kershaw, Williamson let his talent — and a little luck — take over. Williamson’s first hit off Kershaw was a bleeder that resulted in an infield hit. His second bounced through the middle of the infield for a single. The third one was the highlight of the day for the Giants.
Kershaw had a shutout going when he tried to sneak a first-pitch fastball past Williamson in the eighth. He blasted it to dead center. It was the only run for the Giants in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers.
“It’s good to see him get those swings off,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That homer was to the big part of the park. It shows how strong he is.”
The Giants have always known Williamson has the strength and raw talent. He hasn’t stuck for a number of reasons, including injuries and that aforementioned tendency sometimes to overthink at the plate. It probably hasn’t helped, either, that the Giants tend to sit him for days at a time and then play him against the Kershaws and Zack Greinkes and Rich Hills of the world.
Williamson took advantage of the tough assignment on Sunday, joining a small group of Giants who have three hits in a game off Kershaw.
“Hunter was ahead of me,” he said, smiling. “He beat me to it.”
Pence also had three hits, giving the Giants six from the corners against the best pitcher in the game. It wasn’t enough, but for Williamson, it was something to build off as the offseason approaches. He said it’s a winter he doesn’t plan to take lightly. Williamson’s agents are working to line up a Winter Ball job in the Dominican Republic.
With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers Sunday, Bruce Bochy is resting three left-handed bats...
San Francisco Giants:
1. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
2. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) 1B
4. Hunter Pence (R) RF
5. Nick Hundley (R) C
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
8. Mac Williamson (R) LF
9. Chris Stratton (R) RHP
Los Angeles Dodgers:
1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
4. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
5. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
6. Chase Utley (L) 2B
7. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
8. Joc Pederson (L) LF
9. Clayton Kershaw (L) LHP