Game 7? Of Course! – Brandon Belt

You had to figure this would go to Game 7. With these two teams, there was little doubt. You can tell that the Cardinals believe that no matter what happens, in the end they’re going to win. We do, too. So it had to go to seven.

​Everyone keeps asking why we keeping winning when our backs are against the wall. We really believe in ourselves, and it’s crazy how much that helps us, as cheesy and corny as that sounds. And obviously we don’t buckle under pressure, thanks in great part to our veteran nut jobs, who keep everyone loose in the dugout. Wilson, Hensley, Theriot, Pablo, they’re always doing something crazy to break whatever tension might be building. Pablo was dancing gangnam style along with the video on the scoreboard. As a young guy who’s new to the postseason, I take cues from the veterans. If they stay loose in the highest-pressure situations, then I’m not going to get worried either.

After struggling at the plate for a few games, I was really happy to get a triple to lead off what turned out to be a big second inning. I had two strikes. After striking out twice in recent games on called third strikes, I knew I had to expand my strike zone. I couldn’t take a called third strike if it was close. Carpenter threw a fastball that stayed over the plate and I was able to drive it to center field.

Of course my next at-bat I struck out looking. Carpenter was beating me up with off-speed pitches then threw a fastball that started at my hip then came back to catch the inside corner. It’s frustrating, but at some point you have to give their pitchers credit; they got a lot of us tonight on called third strikes.

​I felt good, though, to finish the night with two hits that contributed two runs. In the postseason, with the adrenaline on full-throttle, I’ve had to remind myself to slow the game down. I have a pre-at-bat ritual that helps with this. While I’m on deck, I focus on my breathing, which slows my heart rate and helps me focus on being in the moment. Pence bats ahead of me, so I watch his at-bat as if I’m batting, swinging at pitches to lock in on my timing. Then before I step into the box I take a deep breath. I don’t step up to the plate until I’ve completely finished the breath.

​I’m learning a lot during this postseason, things that nobody can teach you. You have to experience it for yourself. For example, you have to figure out how to take care of yourself when there are so many more demands on your time. There’s so much more media. And at every game, unlike during the regular season, there are family and friends you want to spend time with.

And the games are so intense. You’re focusing so hard. You’re all in emotionally. It can really drain you. I was surprised how exhausted I was after Game 5 in Cincinnati. I just crashed.

In St. Louis, I felt like I didn’t have any down time. Usually I get a little time alone when I walk to the park. But our hotel was right across the street, so I didn’t even have that. So I’m learning that I have to carve out time to rest and regenerate. It’s tough when you’ve been raised to be polite and friendly. But I see now why players can seem selfish at times. You really have to draw some boundaries or you’ll be so tired you won’t be 100 percent for the games.

I’m also learning about money. That might sound kind of stupid because money is money. But I never had any before now, and Haylee and I are still figuring out what it means to have what we have. I’ve always been a tightwad, either by nature or necessity, not sure which. And I still am even though I guess I don’t have to be. I was thinking about this during the postseason because, with family and friends around, we’re going out to eat more than we usually would. I’d rather eat at Chipotle or Chili’s than at a nice restaurant. Part of that is just getting served more quickly, but part of it is feeling uncomfortable spending money on the kinds of restaurants that other players go to all the time but still seem really expensive to us. It still drives me crazy, for example, to buy a bunch of groceries and then leave town before we eat everything and stuff goes to waste. Figuring out when and whether and how much to spend is a good problem to have, believe me. I know that. But it’s the kind of thing you never think about when you become a big-leaguer.

​OK, that was kind of random.

​We can’t wait to get to the park tomorrow. We’ll be here around 12:30 or so for BP, etc. I hear it’s supposed to rain. I hope it doesn’t, of course, but we’ll manage no matter what happens. We’re locked in. and we’re having a blast. We know the fans are, too. You can’t believe how loud it is on the field. It’s unbelievable.

​Let’s keep it going!

 

48 Comments

LOVE THE BLOG!!!!

“It still drives me crazy, for example, to buy a bunch of groceries and then leave town before we eat everything and stuff goes to waste.”

Amen, brother. It’s not even a money thing, wasting food that someone else could eat just sucks.

Way to go tonight! SHEESH! Pullin’ for you tomorrow, hardcore.

PS. My family is obsessed with the Giants. I’m not gonna lump myself in there with them and claim to be the biggest fan because I literally can’t keep stats in my head or always know when or why a play is made the way it does. I will say though that I really appreciate the heart that you guys have. I love watching postseason ball because like you said, one at-bat, one inning, one game…it all comes together to represent such perseverance.

I really appreciate the fact that you and Crawford take the time to spell it out for us, and your words make baseball so much more personal. You have made me realize that it is so much more than just a game. Well done, BB!!

“It still drives me crazy, for example, to buy a bunch of groceries and then leave town before we eat everything and stuff goes to waste.”

Amen, brother. It’s not even a money thing, wasting food that someone else could eat just sucks.

Way to go tonight! SHEESH! Pullin’ for you tomorrow, hardcore.

PS. My family is obsessed with the Giants. I’m not gonna lump myself in there with them and claim to be the biggest fan because I literally can’t keep stats in my head or always know when or why a play is made the way it does. I will say though that I really appreciate the heart that you guys have. I love watching postseason ball because like you said, one at-bat, one inning, one game…it all comes together to represent such perseverance.

I really appreciate the fact that you and Crawford take the time to spell it out for us, and your words make baseball so much more personal. You have made me realize that it is so much more than just a game. Well done, BB!!

Thanks for sharing again, I love the randomness of the topics.

Thanks most of all for your good play during the series. We appreciate each good play you have made, whether key hits or good fielding plays, we do notice those too, congrats!

I’ve read about how other players have struggled to manage their time, and I am gratified to see that you are figuring things out well. It is hard not to be nice when you appreciate that they want a piece of your time, but ultimately, it is most important that you be ready for your games, that takes highest priority. Thank you for understanding that distinction.

Keep up the good work and stay loose,

Go Giants!

Love to hear about the games, but it’s wonderful to also have a window into the day-to-day aspects of your lives… families, money, grocery shopping. Makes me love you guys all the more. Thanks for giving 100% today, can’t wait to watch GAME 7! Fingers crossed for blue skies, but rain or shine you guys are champions. Vamos, Gigantes!

Brandon, the blog entries are AMAZING. I was talking to my girlfriend yesterday, who’s a MUCH BIGGER baseball fan than I am, supposedly, and she doesn’t read any of the player blogs…and anyhow…I was saying to her how much anxiety I’ve been feeling and how I feel like I almost ‘know’ the personalities involved. I attribute a lot of that to this blog and Gregor’s too. Anyhow…keep ‘em coming when you feel you have time, it makes it all the more real and intense for us as well. Sure, I’m rooting like crazy for Marco to finally get to the Series for the first time, and rooting for Vogey because of his long circuitous career arc too, but make no mistake…and I suppose I can only speak for myself, but I want to see the younger players, like yourself, GET THERE RIGHT NOW….THIS YEAR! I think you’re at the beginning of a long and storied career and I want you to taste the pinnacle that baseball has to offer early, so you can lead others back here again and again…oh yeah, and AGAIN!!! You rock, Brandon…we’re all pulling for you guys. PELEA! GO GIANTS!!

Hey Brandon, I’m from Australia and all my friends are following the Giants now after i got them onto it, so anyway I was wondering if you have ever been out to Australia? I love watching you play, i watch you play first base and it helps when i play there. Thanks and good luck, not like you will need anyway :)

Hey – great job Sunday! You do look focused, but not tight. The whole team looks like “I’m not leaving without this,” which is cool. Vogey looked like he wanted every batter for dinner. ‘Loved it. About money – you hear so often about people going from rags to riches to rags again. I like your financial decisions. Yeah, you can go to nice restaurants more often, but you’re young. You have a lot of years ahead of you, all of which will need money to support you and your family, none of which you can know for sure if you’ll still be playing baseball. Anyway – that’s my random advice. I’m just surprised at how many rich athletes go bankrupt. And yet, I can see how, once you start buying those nice cars and houses, then nice cars and houses for family, how it can all sort of hit a whole new level. blah, blah, blah….

We’re all going to be on the edge of our seats tonight rooting for you guys, whether we’re in the park or in our living rooms (fans in the stands will represent those of us in our living rooms well!). Like you said you do before you step into the batter’s box, I’m going to have to breathe tonight, too!! It’s stressful being a Giants fan!! But it wouldn’t be near as exciting and you know we wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel like I’m extra excited for you and Crawford when you make a great play or have a great hit since you guys blog with us. Crawford wasn’t having a very productive night one of these games, then had a great hit and brought in some runs and I literally said, “Alright, Brandon!” hahaha… and these incredible defensive plays you’ve been making – we feel like we know you two since you blog so consistently with us. It’s really great. Makes for an even more amazing season and we want to cheer that much harder for you guys! GO GIANTS!!! YOU GRAB THAT PENNANT AND RUN, BABY!!!!!

The SF Giants are amazing! Yesterday, my husband and i were on the couch with our rally rags flying! My office is mostly Giants fans so it’s been a buzz all post-season. Giants took control from the getgo yesterday and took the fans with them. So excited for game 7 and getting Scutaro to the Series. Thanks to you and Brandon for writing, given your time and high stakes right now. Go Giants!!!!

Brandon once again I say thank you for blogging when as you say your time is really at a premium right now so thank you for considering this blog and us fans important enough to spend a little of that limited time to share with us. It is really one of the reason I want you guys to win you just seem like good people!! Also you guys are just f@cking awesome!! Your play, your fight, your desire to play for one another I think it is just spectacular!! Love you guys! I keep saying that I know. But it is so true!! It will be tough tonight the Cards will throw everything at you but that strong belief in yourselves, staying focused and with the moment and playing proud and having fun then it will see you through! Pelea! Pelea! Pelea! Love you guys and I cant tell you how much fun this ride has been!!

Just can’t tell you how much your blogs are enjoyed. We feel like we are in SF and tonight will be glued to the TV along with the fabulous SF fans there! I don’t have a flag to wave, but I will find one!!! Our 11 yr old grandson from Frisco (a baseball player himself) called as soon as you hit your triple last night. He was so excited!!!!
Hopefully some time when you are at home, I can buy a baseball and get you to sign it for Grayson. That would make his day by a long shot!! Good luck to you and the team tonight. It is such fun reading your philosophies about the games and being in the big league now!! Praying for you and Haylee!!! (Please give her a hug for me………..precious wife you have!!)

Brandon, I was there last night and will be there again tonight and yes it’s raining here too…but it looks okay for game time. (I hope) It was the most awesome game that I ever attended and yes it was loud, and that’s because the fans truly love you guys and really want to see you win…Let me tell you something, you are 100% correct about the Cardinals…I got Mike Methaney to sign my baseball last night and wished him luck…he turned to me and said..”Thanks, but we don’t need luck”..I wanted to ask him today if his team needs any luck..
Keep being frugal with your money…make it last…this doesn’t last forever..but Chii’s? We can do better than Chili’s…By the way, google Mike Methany…he’s almost bankrupt, he lost his 17 room mansion recently…You don’t want to end up like him!!
Go Giants!!! I know you guys can do it!!! One more win…stay focused and score a few more runs tonight!!

Hey Brandon we love you! So proud of you guys! Love reading your blogs, love how you’re keeping yourself humble with the whole money thing! Treat yourself sometimes! You and your wife deserve it, praying for today’s game, go out there and have fun!

Bless your heart Brandon! Enjoy every second of this post season. The “first time” is really a once in a lifetime event. Believe me, the “down time” you’ll get (and want) later on will be well worth it as you relish in a (World?) Championship! Keep it up!

p.s. Take it from a Scots lady (*we Scots know about being “practical” with our funds, LOL)….you’re building your nest egg! Don’t feel bad about it! Save it all for a rainy day because it WILL rain someday ( but not tonight, ha). Trust me you’ll thank yourself later!

You were awesome yesterday! You all were! It was such an exciting game to watch, even if it was on TV and far away. It’s fun to watch the shots in the dugout too. Wishing you all a great game tonight.

Thanks for stopping and signing my nephews hat after a game in August. The smile on his face was priceless. Sadly, Madbum didn’t do the same (or even roll down his window). Keep your head up. You make a difference.
I’ll be cheering you on today from the South Bay.

Someone once described both the Giants and the Cardinals as not having the “good sense” to just call it a day. Of course, that means that the series has to go to the limit. Best of luck to you guys – my sisters will be at the game (the lucky so-and-sos), but I’ll be watching devotedly from home.

I enjoy reading your insights into the game. You have a talent for writing (Crawford, too, for that matter); I don’t know why I don’t read this blog more often. Thanks for sharing with us.

HA HA HA I honestly laughed out loud when you wrote:
” ​OK, that was kind of random”
because it really was random….awesome blog once again…You Giants have been amazing to watch. Good Luck tonight….you and your team are all so loved!!!!

It was definitely nice meeting you @ Amici’s on the day before the NLDS started. You and Haylee are such a very friendly couple. It’s so wonderful to hear from you that you still consider yourself a regular guy, despite all the attention that you’ve been getting. Stay humble, B!

PS: Let’s take Scutaro and Vogelsong to the World Series! They deserve it! Best of luck to you guys tonight and keep swinging! It ain’t over yet! :)

Hey man, from a longtime 53yo fan, you’re one of the best first baseman we’ve had in awhile. Have really enjoyed what you have brought to the table this year and you’re having a great playoffs. Hope to see you in your first WS.

Thanks for an incredible experience at AT&T Park last night! Do it again today!!!

Thank you for all the pleasure you’re giving. This life is pretty unbelievable, but you have done it. I’ll be at home, cheering you on, and enjoy what you’ve accomplished.

A country boy from Texas? I love it ~ don’t ever change. And believe you me, when you’re talking about stretching the budget your average fan out here can relate. Just getting to the ballpark, buying tickets and food is a hardship for most people, especially when they share the experience with their kids. It can be at least a few days wages. But the experience is worth it and it’s because of you guys. We love our Giants! So “Do it to it today” ~ we’re with you all the way! Good read.

Thanks Brandon. I am impressed that you even find the time to write these blog entries. Yes, taking time for yourself sounds extremely important. Selfish is not a bad thing. Our culture just misunderstands that word.
Go giants!

Keep on keeping on, Brandon.
Short stroke, and hit it hard.
BTW, keep your tightwad ways with money. When your career is done (long time from now), you’ll be glad you invested, not spent carelessly…

Awesome blog!!!! I will be cheering for I guys tonight!!!!!

*you

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Thanks for another job well done — on the field and for our reading pleasure.

Random thoughts mean you’re a real person. We pray for you and Haylee to do what’s best for you both and for others around you to understand the space and focus you need.

Have fun and play hard. No matter what, we are fans of the SFGiants, Brandon Belt and each player, coach and clubhouse staff.

You guys are awesome, keep it up! All your LA-based fans are cheering from down here too (and WISHING we could be up there!!!)

Brandon, thank you for just being a baseball player. It’s odd how the simplest thing can change into a metaphor for life. This Giants team gives me so much hope for my life. Recently I’ve felt like I have no hope, but just watching you and the other guys play encourages me and makes my day. No matter what happens tonight, I will always be a Giants fan. You represent the Giants so well, it gives me hope that I could represent my team like that one day. Thank you for being classy and GO GIANTS!

Just watched you hit a big time home run in Game 7 – good job Brandon!!!! You are a wonderful young player – and your blogs are great. You provide a fresh look at the Major Leagues – and it’s delightful to hear your take on things. Keep up the great work – I hope you stay a Giant for years to come……

AHHHHHH, you guys did it!!! CONGRATS, what a game tonight!

Brandon, I love reading your blog! I am so happy you guys won tonight for the team, city, and fans, but I am also excited to keep reading about your journey. It has been an amazing season and I am enjoying watching you become a seasoned first basemen. Keep up the good work, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you so much for playing your heart out everyday and make sure to tell Crawford too!

Looking forward to watching you guys bringing home a World Series title. Let’s have another parade and pop some bottles!

Go Giants!

Hi Brandon!
I’ve never commented on this, because I feel too awkward, but uh, I had to.
I’d like to start off by saying I FINALLY found andit bought a baby giraffe hat last night to wear to my next game, because you’re great.
Also, I’m sure you’ve heard but uh, you’re trending on Twitter! :)
Finally I just wanted to say congrats on making it to the World Series. I’m so proud to be a fan :)
Like its been stated before, you can never count the Sf Giants out, can you?(:

OK, Boys, Good win. We want a short column from EACH of you tomorrow!

Oh, Helluva game, no? Congrats.

By staying a tight wad, you’ll have more money to save for when your body no longer allows you to play baseball at your desired level, right?

To some people, eating at Chipotle or Chili’s *is* eating in a nice restaurant, wouldn’t you agree? My wife complains about my bill from eating at *those* places… :)

Hi Brandon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. With the finances, I have two suggestions.

1. Listen to Dave Ramsey’s show on the radio or check out his website. He is an amazing financial guru who would steer you right. He became a millionaire who lost it all when he was young. He got older and wiser and learned from his failures and became successful again. You and your wife would appreciate what he has to offer.

2. Watch the ESPN 30 For 30 episode called Broke which aired this year. It talks of pro athletes who were given huge contracts only to squander it all when they were young.

Pingback: Game 7? Of Course! – Brandon Belt « lurkwolf's Blog

GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations on an amazing series, finishing these last three games out completely dominant. I played competitive softball for years and I know how hard it can be to get in waves of striking out often but the fact that you kept your head high, didn’t let it get you down, and got some key hits (and a BLAST of a home run for a little cherry on top of last night’s game) is really inspirational. I am so happy for you and am doing everything I can to come see you play in the WORLD SERIES!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!

WOW, that was a crazy, crazy game. So many strange and wonderful things happened…but we all went NUTS when you smacked that ball outta the park. We are all saying, “Well, even two Grand Slams won’t help them now!!” Congratulations on such a great season and we’re all pulling for you guys to go all the way!

Hey brandon! I’ve noticed that in the play where you had to dive and catch the ball but fell over the railing, that you knocked over a beer, LOL did your glove smell like beer the whole night?

congrats with advancing into the World Series in your first post season, its very special and you should be very proud that youre a starting hitter going into the World Series in your 2nd professional MLB year. Loved seeing you hit that home run last night, it was pretty phenomenal!

I hope you enjoy this season as much as possible and that your love for baseball never diminishes!

Best of luck,

Jennifer.

Thanks for being honest and ‘random’! I love it. Something I’ve been learning is the principle of the starving baker. The baker spends so much time baking bread for others and making sure everyone else is ok, he forgets to feed himself. Even with food all around him, he winds up starving. With that said, hopefully you can find time to experience so time to feed yourself. And hopefully Hailey can too. Following your wives on Twitter has me guessing they’re pretty exhausted too.

Now about baseball- WHAT A SERIES!! I couldn’t believe it. You both were so impressive and it made me so excited for not only this next series but for the franchise’s future in general. Keep fighting, boys. We got this!

I appreciate the candor of what happens with you, the team and life as a MLB player. I’ve enjoyed reading these posts. Congratulations on a fantastic season with so many more plays and hits to go! Just like with the game, money/time is a matter of what feels right for what’s going on and what you need. With time esp media, I’m in PR/marketing so I get it, it’s okay to limit the # of questions (off air) or simply “can I get back to you I need to…”. Polite and firm. Like fielding a pop up, it takes finesse yet you ultimately call the shots. As for groceries a tip, my sister “shops” for personal portions from the Whole Foods salad/food bar rather than buying a whole carrot or whatever. Plus it’s already chopped/minced/diced. Who needs a prep cook? Game on! Go get’em!

you posted this a couple months back and i just want to say THANK YOU for keeping your promise… “One thing we can promise: No group of 25 guys, and no staff of coaches, will battle harder or smarter than we will”.
Keep battling!! WORLD SERIES BABBBYY! GO GIANTS!

Thanks so much for the blog!! We are such lucky fans to have such an awesome team to get behind. Appreciate all your effort and glad you were raised to be polite :) Continue to take care of yourself and enjoy this great experience….So many players go their entire career without making it to the Series. We will be screaming our heads off for you!!!!!!

Brandon, I have really enjoyed watching you play this year with SFG. I remember you as a kid and am continually amazed at how far you’ve come. My kids watch you play and find it pretty awesome that their granddad was your little league coach. He follows you continuously (not that you didn’t know!). We prayed for you today at lunch in Wendy’s in between school and my daughter’s soccer training. She admires successful athletes as she is striving to succeed as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

Love ya, Lorna Beck Lueck

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