Saturday, February 28, 2015

"That was huge"

That's BB, Brandon Belt, talking about the 18th inning HR he hit in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Here's part of the SF Chron's story --

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brandon Belt walked into the Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse Thursday morning carrying a lime green soft-sided cooler. The kind your kid might carry to school.
Inside the cooler could be the secret to the Giants season: a chorizo scramble, parmesan-crusted turkey and fruit.
Belt has been on a serious nutrition plan for most of the past three months. In consultation with the Giants’ performance dietician Danielle LaFata, Belt has relied on prepared meals to help him become leaner, stronger and healthier.
“I don’t trust myself to make those meals and make the right portion sizes,” Belt said. “So I let this company do it.”
A new interest in health is usually a sign of a player’s growing maturity. Belt is now 26, and the Giants are ready for him to have a big season in 2015, his fifth in the majors.
“We’re waiting on a bust-out season from Brandon,” general manager Brian Sabean said earlier this week. “He’s capable of it. He might be poised to do it.”
No pressure there, right?
“It does not put any pressure on me,” Belt said. “I expect it from myself.”
Others have been expecting it for a while. Belt made the Giants at 22 (famously breaking into tears on camera, prompting Bruce Bochy to offer, “You need a beer? Grab a beer.”) It was probably too early and he went back and forth between San Francisco and Fresno. In 2012, he eventually became the full-time first baseman, played 145 games and helped the Giants win a World Series. After a slow start in 2013, Belt adjusted his stance and was blistering hot over the final two months of the season.
Last year, he seemed poised to pick up where he left off in 2013, to have a breakout season. Instead he broke his thumb. Shortly after coming off the disabled list, he was hit in the head by an errant infield throw and suffered a serious concussion, endangering his entire season. Belt played only 61 games.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “But I’m proud of myself because I came back and was able to contribute.”
When the playoffs started, Belt was healthy. He started all 17 playoff games and batted .295. His most memorable contribution was a winning home run in the 18th inning in Washington that put the Giants up 2-0 in the series against a Nationals team that was expected to win. It was October’s turning point.
“That was huge,” he said. “I think after that game we kind of knew. ... There was a good chance we were going to do this again.”


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