Lessons and More Lessons – Brandon Belt

First I have to tell you how happy I am to be back in San Francisco. I really didn’t think I’d be here until September call-ups. So Haylee and I were just about to give up our lease on our San Francisco apartment when I found out we’d need it immediately.

One thing I’ve learned from both Triple A and the big club: This game yanks you up and down with such frequency and force that you basically live with a perennial case of mental whiplash. One day you’re on top of the world, and the next day you’re sitting in front of your locker with your head in your hands.

That’s where I was today, in front of my locker with my head in my hands.

But before we get to that, this has been my whiplash week so far.

On Monday, I struck out four times in five at-bats for Triple A Fresno. Why did I strike out four times? I couldn’t even begin to explain it to you. I felt fine. My mechanics felt great. I just kept fouling off balls, getting behind in the count then striking out.

After the game, I just wanted to get away from the field as soon as possible. I was angry at myself and wondering, “What just happened?’’

On Tuesday, I was unexpectedly called up to San Francisco, and I wanted to show that Monday’s game was a fluke and that I still had confidence at the plate. And

I hit a home run and a double, helping to beat the Dodgers.

On Wednesday, with the Dodgers up 1-0, I struck out with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

What’s gnawing at me today is that I let the first two pitches go. They didn’t look like strikes to me. One looked low and one looked outside. The umpire had a different idea of where the strike zone was. He called both strikes. I guess I’m still learning how to adjust to each umpire’s zone. I need to learn how to cover more of the plate so, when you’re fighting for your life in the bottom of the ninth, I can at least put the ball in play.

It’s a frustrating thing, and something that comes with the territory, I guess, in the big leagues. And when a major-league pitcher knows an umpire is calling an outside strike or a low strike, he has the ability to keep hitting that spot. You don’t see that as much in the minors. So I’ll talk to our hitting coach, Bam-Bam Meulens. I have to figure this out as soon as possible or I’ll be left behind.

On a happier note from today, I stretched what should probably have been an infield out into a double. My mindset is to be aggressive. Period. If I see the outfielders not running after the ball as fast as they should because they don’t think I’m going to go, the chances are I’m going to go. The outfielder didn’t look like he was running full speed to the ball, so I just took advantage of it.

I can’t explain baseball sometimes.

-Brandon

 

 

 

 

35 Comments

Brandon, don’t beat yourself up about your strike-outs in the Wed game. Even the seasoned vets were striking out against Kershaw. And, like you said, so much depends on the ump’s strike zone. We were at the Tues game when you made your much-anticipated return to SF and the crowd was thrilled with your HR, your double & 3 RBIs! My daughter, Hayley, is one of the girls who made the “Brandon” belts and she was very proud to be wearing it at that game. We look forward to seeing great things from you!

Humble statement i can only dream of being in that process im only in highschool but im sure you take full appreciation for being back thanks for coming back strong in that game like vogelsong and crawford and you and the rest of the new players to the gaints i hope to someday step in that club house and start giving my support as a player. I wont stop till i get there because i want that feeling.

Don’t beat yourself up Brandon. Those first 2 balls were definitely not strikes. The ump didn’t call those 2 all game. I think many of us know that you have a good eye for pitches and you’re absolutely right that they were low and outside. The ump had an expanding strike zone through the game so it was frustrating to watch, but more frustrating for the batters. Still, you had some great at-bats and I can’t wait to see you in the next game! Good luck!

I was so glad to see you back and you really came through on Tuesday! Don’t be too hard on yourself! You are a rock star and don’t you forget it!

Welcome back! We missed you! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experiences. We really enjoy reading it.

We’re rooting for you, Brandon!

We all thought the ump had tickets on the early flight out of town. Stick with it and know that Giants fans are behind you 100%.

A. in NYC

Brandon let me first say congrats for getting called back up. As I’ve said before, I’m 100% Team Belt :) I found out you were recalled on my way to the game on Tuesday and I screamed so loud I scared everyone in the car. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see you on the field as soon as I walked into the ballpark. And when you took your first at bat, I was hoping you’d hit a homerun over to my section and I was so proud when you did. I had tears in my eyes. Later on when Ross was intentionally walked, I told everyone around me “Good coz baby giraffe is gonna get a base hit”. And again I was right. You made my day :)

I’m so proud of you! Please don’t beat yourself up. It shows how much you care that you’d even sit at your locker with your head in your hands but this is only a learning lesson. Take time with Bam Bam and soak in every word of advice from him as well as the rest of your team mates. You’re a major league baseball player. You’ve had quite a year and you’ve earned your spot. Keep up the focus at the plate, the good base running and good defense- you can do this.

Every game is like a class in college; you learn a ton if you pay attention and it’s clear that you do. Unfortunately there is a huge emphasis in the press and maybe in the clubhouse on your “grade” each day, but hopefully you can focus on the learning mostly; that means your “grades” will improve long term. I think most fans are very knowledgeable and focus on growth and maturation of our young team and not a specific at bat, day or even week.

Be called up is a new territory, most of the pitchers are new to you and have different styles of pitching may not seen before. Look at all the Veterans in slumps, no one is expecting you to be great, just do what your doing and try to stay consistant and you will be fine! Just the fact you made it to the big leagues should be your inspiration, so stay confident and I will be rooting for you and the rest of the San Francisco Giants!! Daniel Ray Hemmingson- Manteca Ca.

Don’t beat yourself up–even those with years of experience strike out! You were stellar Tuesday…I was watching at home and thought: “how great if he hit a home run his first time at the park?” It was great! And will happen again and again.

Great Game Brandon. Giant fans are behind you 100%. You are going to be a STAR.

1. Welcome back, Brandon. You’re doing great, and SF loves you. I predict there will soon be hundreds of “baby giraffe” hats on fans’ heads to complement the panda hats.

2. You’re a really good writer.

Ahhhhhhhhhh so glad you’re back again! Great comeback job and if they know what’s good for ‘em they’ll keep you right where you are! Fresno doesn’t need you, your SF fans need you. <3

Welcome Back Brandon!
My family was very lucky that we were able to see you twice this month @ the Ports-SJ Giants Game and then at the Rivercats-Grizzlies game last weekend…But we are extremely excited for you that you got called back up. You are a great player and a great person. I agree with the above comment, you are a great writer and I look forward to reading more of your blogs. We will see you again at a SF Giants game in September ;)

Thanks so much Brandon. Definitely appreciate the thoughts and all. So glad to have you up here in SF!

The Blues are blind, everyone knows that! It’s not you, it’s them! Everyone has off days…even the umps! Keep up the great work and never stop learning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings! I thouroughly enjoy reading them. All the beset to you and the G-men!

Welcome Back Brandon! So proud of your efforts this season. Wish there had been a full time slot open for you so you could have stayed here in SF and not suffered the whiplash you speak of. And the injury. Hope your feeling better…
Glad to see you get the HR and drive in a couple more against the HATED Dodgers! For that, young one, you have earned tons more respect and appreciation from the fans. Stay strong and keep grinding!
Go Giants!

Brandon,
Neither of those pitches were strikes. Sometimes umps calls ruin the game and there’s nothing you can really do. Your aggressiveness was really impressive and I don’t think anybody saw it coming. I’m always annoyed by plays like that when they lazily stroll towards the ball and always wish someone could do something about it. Yesterday you did do something about it, and could have ended up being the difference in the game. Maybe now they won’t float over to the ball. Maybe they’ll actually act like athletes and go get it. I thin k you really opened up peoples eyes with that one. Did Bochy have anything to say about that? It’s obvious where you have to be living depending on where you’re playing, but what has Haylee been doing through this? I’m so glad you are back up, your homerun and double were so incredibly exciting!! I love you!!
♥ Sierra Wilson

Brandon,
I’m not sure if you are answering questions or not, but it couldn’t hurt to try!
Do you like the “Baby Giraffe” as a nickname?
Have you made friends with anyone in SF yet?
What location would be the biggest mistake to pitch to you?
Do you have a hard time with the inside pitch like everyone suspects you would?
What do you do on an off day like today?
Which veteran has taken you under his wing the most? (I have heard Aubrey Huff)
Did you grow up a Rangers fan?
Who was your favorite player growing up?
You pitched for a while…. Did you ever think that you were going to make a career as a pitcher?
How did you initially react when the Giants told you they wanted to adjust your batting stance?
Do you have a lot of support from your hometown?
I figure the more questions I ask the more likely you’ll answer one!! Please do and even more importantly; keep it up in SF, you’re looking great!!
♥ Sierra Wilson

I’m really happy you’re back! YAY BABY GIRAFFE!

Great job Brandon! Loved you in Richmond last year with the Squirrels, and I’m proud to see you back in the SF orange and black!

Welcome back Brandon! I was at the game Monday and when Tejada left with an injury…I yelled out “Bring up Belt!” Needless to say, I was pretty excited to read you had been called up the following day. I was even more excited with your performance that game. Looking forward to seeing you get some playing time as our offense surely needs it! Good luck the rest of the way buddy!

Brandon,
I just wanted to let you know that I was at your return-game on Tuesday the 19th where you beat the Dodgers with your home run and double. You also signed for me before the game at the dugout (it was genuinely appreciated). Just so you know, you fit right in with the team as both a player and as a person. The Giants have always astounded me in that they are so fan-friendly and genuinely greatful for the support they receive from their fan base. (Growing up here in NJ, I find the Giants generosity to be the sheer opposite of the players’ attitudes on the Phillies, for instance.)
Anyway, keep up the great work for the team and I’m sure we’ll be getting to see you on a daily basis for many years to come. And never change as a person; then again, it is very rare that one sees a Giant altered by fame.
Sincerely,
Aubrey Paris, 18, NJ

Brandon don’t beat yourself up. Your a awesome player and a human. I met you 2 weeks ago in visialia playing with San Jose your a great dude and I’m so stoked that your on our side and we will get to root for you for years to come

Remember Brandon, Don’t stop believin’! I know, it’s cheesy, but it’s true. You’re doing great, and we are all here to support you!

Welcome back, Brandon!

I’d been haunting Twitter for days waiting to hear you’d been called up, and the one day I actually stayed offline for a few hours is when it happened. I couldn’t wait to watch the game and was so excited when you got your two big hits.

Wednesday–baaaah. Kershaw, we’ve never been able to do anything with him. I wish he’d get traded to the Yankees.

Anyway, I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised to hear you were coming back and in fact thought it might happen a few days earlier. By the way, Marty Lurie has been saying for weeks that you’d be back to help the Giants the second half of the season, so be sure to go on his show on KNBR!

You’re here to stay this time, just like Buster last May. I can feel it.

Enjoy it all, even the whiplash!

–Dana

Hook-Em Brandon!!

Welcome back Brandon! Really glad you’re back. Heard your interview on Murph and Mac the other day. Must be tough on your wife to have to keep moving back and forth, but I guess that the life of a baseball player sometimes. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Hope you stay for a long long time. Hang in there, Baby Giraffe :)

Trust your instincts, your hands and your bat speed. Choke up and let the monster out of the cage. Baseball can’t be explained, it can only be experienced and absorbed. You’re in the majors, just keep doing what got you there.

Bless you, Mr. Belt. Very glad to have you back!

Wow, what a game. Are we lucky to have you back! Keep up the infectious smile and tenacious attitude. You are rubbing off on the rest of the team! See? Cody hit a home run! Great job today.

How do you like that? Brandon gets sent down on 8/4 to activate Mark, then on 8/13, Brandon comes back. Orlando was suppose to be an upgrade from Crawford, but he’s such Swiss Cheese that it’s probably a loss. Can we please get Orlando on the DL?

Welcome back Brandon! Look forward to seeing you.

http://plushdamentals.mlblogs.com

Well said brandon with that kind if atitude and the ability you have demonstated this season you sredestined for a longand prolific careerbiva gigantes

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