Brandon Belt’s week began with a 3-for-5, a home run, a double, and 3 RBI in the Giants’ 10-7 win against the Reds, which, if I’m reading Baseball-Reference correctly, was actually a game where his contributions lowered the Giants’ win probability -0.002%.
Such has been his career. Brandon Belt does amazing things on a baseball field and it’s never enough to satisfy the craven needs of fans, pundits, and math. He went on to homer in his next three games (and added one more on Sunday to give him 5 for the week) and put up a 1.574 OPS in 30 plate appearances. The first baseman also had an outfield assist.
He also got a stern talking to from MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer and former Dodger manager, Joe Torre, after making public comments that were critical about Doug Eddings’ strike zone. Obviously, Major League Baseball agreed with whatever Belt said on that phone call, because they named him the player of the week. After the World Series wins, All-Star appearance, and previous Player of the Week honor, something tells me that Belt might consider publicly complaining about an umpire’s strike zone and getting away with it his greatest professional accomplishment.
I say that because the degree of difficulty in that particular area is far more difficult than anything else. Belt has had no problem handling his naysayers, but nobody gets to talk about umpires like he did without some sort of negative public consequence. And yet...
We’ve all known how great and wonderful Brandon Belt has been on a baseball field. This is his first Player of the Week honor since 2013, and looking over the numbers he put up during that stretch can’t compare to his feats of this past week:
Belt collected hits in each of his seven games last week, compiling a .440 (11-for-25) batting average, which was the eighth-highest mark among National Leaguers. The 25-year-old led the Senior Circuit in total bases (20) and runs scored (8), tied for second in home runs (2) and hits, and posted the N.L.’s eighth-best slugging percentage (.800). Belt also added a .500 on-base percentage for the week while clubbing three doubles and collecting five RBI.
Finally, let’s close as we often do by rounding up some anti-Belt commentary to amuse ourselves with how bad Brandon Belt’s baseball abilities make other people look.
Belt walks all the time but he is slow & the team has NO power so it really doesn't have that much value. Is what it is— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) May 4, 2017
Brandon Belt is the most overrated SF Giant in my 32 years of life. Not really sure there is a close 2nd— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) May 4, 2017
Actually, I just wanted to round up these two comments, as they tend to appear in my timeline whenever Belt does something great.
If for some reason you’re reading this article on your day off, Brandon Belt, congratulations, and keep up the good work.