There was a point when the Giants were 19-8 without Brandon Belt. They were getting good hitting from Tyler Colvin, and the injury didn't seem like it was going to be a big deal.
The final tally: The Giants were 24-25 without their starting first baseman. He was missed. Oh, how he was missed. He's coming back on Friday, on our nation's Independence Day, our hero, our savior. He will be expected to:
- Provide timely hits
- Provide good defense at first
- Save the Giants' 2014 season
Modest goals, all of them. There will be no pressure, except for all of the pressure. Here's what he's done in his rehab starts:
I included the numbers from his first two minor league seasons because, goodness, those first two minor league seasons. I'm not expecting the 1.500 OPS of his rehab performance. Just the 1.071 career OPS in the minors.
Adam Duvall was a fun story for a night, and I look forward to him helping the Giants on the bench and against left-handers in the future. But this is Belt's time. This is where he stands up and becomes the leader of the team, in spirit if not in practice. This is where he straps the offense to his back and takes the Giants back to where they were, where they should be.
Welcome back, Brandon Belt. You have been missed.
/flash forward to first strikeout
Dammit, Belt. Stop swinging and missing.