Brandon Belt Belts First Career Walk-off for San Francisco Giants

4/23/13 in MLB   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Giants have long been sold on the talents of their young first baseman, Brandon Belt, and have thus far refused to include him in any trade discussions, even when prompted by the Seattle Mariners last year at the deadline.

This season, Belt was looking to build off a year where he hit .275 and was clearly improving his swing and overall approach at the plate. Manager Bruce Bochy started him this season in the 6th spot in the lineup behind Buster Posey and Hunter Pence.

Blog Photo - Brandon Belt Belts First Career Walk-off for San Francisco GiantsHowever, after hitting below .200 over the first few weeks of the season, Belt was dropped in the order to 7th as shortstop Brandon Crawford is leading the team with a .350 batting average. So it wasn't so much a demotion as much as a promotion for Crawford. 

However, Belt's struggles continued, and Bochy replaced him in the lineup and the game with Joaquin Arias because as Bruce saw it, his young first baseman needed some time to collect his thoughts and come back fresh. 

Well, last night, the Arizona Diamondbacks were in the Bay, and they took a 4-2 lead into the 8th inning - and then Pablo Sandoval singled, followed by Buster Posey's two-run dinger to tie the game at 4-4.

The Giants held the D-backs in the top half of the eighth for an opportunity to win it in the bottom of the 9th. Andres Torres got on base and then Crawford bunted him over to second with one-out in the bottom of the 9th, and Bochy sends Belt up to the plate. 

Brandon took his opportunity in stride and connected on a pitch meant to jam him and took it for a ride to the opposite field gap for the walk-off win to keep the Giants playing at a high level. It was his first ever walk-off --> credit Bochy for putting him into the game with the winning run on second. 
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