Results tagged ‘ Melky Cabrera ’

Dead Batteries and Broken Zippers – Brandon Belt

Last week was a great week all around – a sweep to start the second half of the season and before that a trip back home for the All-Star break.

Haylee and I spent the first day back in Texas just hanging out with our parents. Then on Tuesday there was a little bitty get-together at the Barbecue House, which I told you is one of my favorite restaurants in Nacogdoches. It was just my grandma, my mom’s sisters and my coach from Little League. Sure enough, Maw-Maw had a stack of cards for me to sign as soon as I walked in.

Then I watched the All-Star game with some buddies, cheering for our guys like any other fan. They definitely represented the Giants very well. Matt Cain faced a brutal line-up of the best hitters in the American League, and he just shut them down. And Melky getting the MVP – I was so happy for him because he works sooo hard. He’s definitely somebody I look up to. And Pablo getting the triple and Posey scoring a run. It was awesome all around.

Of course when you’re around your friends and family, they want to know what guys are like personally off the field. It’s an easy answer for me because every guy on the team is a good guy.

So after writing about how I always wear my baseball pants old-school, I showed up for a game with long pants that covered my socks. “Kristen’’ and “Claire’’ called me on it in the comments section. Here’s the story. I have two pairs of old-school pants that come down to just below my knees. One of them has had a broken zipper for a while. So I had been wearing the same pair of pants every game. Then the zipper broke on that one. So I had to go grab a pair of Bumgarner’s pants and throw those on. Murph, the clubhouse manager, got the zippers fixed and had my pants back in time for the next game.

Obviously, I should get things fixed more promptly. Like my shaver. I told you last time that I hadn’t shaved in a week because my shaver broke. I was going to get a new one during our last road trip back east. I didn’t. So I went another week. I had a back-up razor but the batteries were dead. Finally I got batteries and shaved the night before the All-Star break. Back home in Texas, I was able to go out and find the shaver I’ve always had, the Peanut.

Another question from the comments: My pregame routine. After we take BP, we’re in the clubhouse for about an hour and a half. So right before the game, I’ll go in the batting cage behind the dugout and hit a few balls to get loose. Then on the field I’ll stretch my legs and upper body. Then I throw with Crawford. Most of us throw with the same guys every game. (If one or the other of us isn’t in the lineup, the other one will find somebody else to throw with.) Then I’ll do a couple sprints and I’m ready for the game.

Thanks, Dave Edlund, for telling me you fished my first home run of 2012 out of McCovey Cove. (And to your friend Greg for grabbing the next one.) The one I’d really like back is the first Splash Hit of my career (from last season). That would be pretty cool. If the person who has that ball wants to negotiate an exchange, I’m open.

Thanks, as always, for reading and for leaving your comments and questions. Wish us luck in Atlanta and Philly

-Brandon B.

Sticking Together – Brandon Belt

It’s been a week already since I was in Napa with Haley. It was awesome. We went to Black Stallion winery on Silverado Trail. They were Giants fans so they took really good care of us. Then we went to Il Posto Trattoria and I had the best chicken parmigiana. It was such a relaxing time and really great to spend time with Haley. During the season, you never have enough time with your family, so you really appreciate the time you do have.

Neither one of us knows anything about wine, but we have a great time bumbling through and trying not to embarrass ourselves too much. Everyone’s really nice about explaining how the wine is made and what to pay attention to in the different kinds of wine. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a big wine drinker, but Haley and I both love it up there. I think the wine country will be an annual getaway for us.

As you know, it’s been a really uneven start to the season for us. With the injuries and some of us scrapping a bit more than usual, Angel Pagan called a players-only meeting on Friday. He talked about how we’re a good ball team that knows how to win and that if we keep playing hard, things are going to start going our way.

Then other players spoke. Buster, Melky (with Angel translating), Huff. Javy Lopez. A lot of the veterans. (Buster is like a veteran even though he’s so young.) They reassured the younger players that even though you might be struggling now, it’s a long season and you’re going to get on track. Don’t let your struggles affect your confidence.

I think it helped. As a young player, when things are going bad, your mind can start racing. You’re thinking, “Maybe I should be doing this. Maybe I should be doing that. What should I be doing different?’’

So the veterans were telling us to just step back and take a deep breath and get some perspective. There’s still a lot of season left to play. We can still make up ground. They reminded us to just work hard every day. Trust what got you here. Stick together. Be a team.

It was great to have just the players in there because we know it’s up to us. Bochy can have the best strategies in the world but it’s up to us to execute. We have to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played – the way we know we can play it.

We can’t wait to get into Dodger Stadium.

-Brandon B.

Unbelievable – Brandon Belt

We’re making our way to New York, but I wanted to write a short post about last night’s amazing game.

In the dugout, we were watching the pitching duel like any fan in the stands. Matt Cain and Cliff Lee were like surgeons out there — precise and efficient and super confident. You knew neither was giving an inch. A win would have to be earned the hard way — one base at a time.

But I knew I had to keep ready (more on that in my next post). Boch could call on me at any time.

That time came in the 11th.

Cliff Lee was, thankfully, finally out of the game after ten innings. I was facing Armando Bastardo. All I thought about was putting the ball in play. Just keep it simple. Forget everything that’s happened before. I was looking for a fastball, but he gave me a slider and fortunately I was able to stay with it just enough to put it in play for single up the middle.

When I reached second on an error and Melky came to the plate, I was thinking: Whatever happens, be aggressive. Get home however you can.

As soon as I saw the ball come off the bat, I took off. I was probably overly aggressive right there but I trusted my instincts.

When I’m rounding third, I take a look at the fielder to see if I’m going to have to slide. I saw the ball in the air and I’m thinking – get to the plate as fast as you can and get down.

When I crossed that plate – it was one of the greatest feelings. You’re happy for the win but you’re really happy for Matt. He had fought so hard out there that you just wanted to do it for him. And I couldn’t be happier for Melky, who’s been winning games for us all season. He had a great at-bat and he came through for us again.

And I have to tell you there’s nothing better than a dog pile. It does something for you as a player and as a team. Pulls you closer together maybe. I don’t know for sure. But there’s a carryover. I can feel it today. Everyone’s still smiling.

And in the aftermath, you can really start to appreciate what we saw last night. It’s hard to imagine any of us will ever see a better pitching duel. It’s a game that you know you’ll be telling your grandchildren about – the way people talk about Koufax and Marichal.

It’s a great way to head into four games against the Mets.

Thanks for reading.

-Brandon Belt

 

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