Yesterday, Brandon Belt stepped up to the plate with no outs and one on in the top of the first inning, at which point history was made – slow-burning, foul-ball-hitting history – but history nonetheless.
Belt went on to battle through a 21-pitch at-bat against the Angels’ Jamie Barria – the longest on record (apparently this particular record began being recorded in 1988) for a single trip to the plate – before finally flying out to right field.
Take a look:
Perhaps the craziest part of the at-bat is that Belt got down to two strikes after just three pitches. So he might have technically “lost,” after flying out, but I think making a starter throw an extra 18 pitches after getting down to two strikes is basically a win.
Some other notes: The at-bat included 16 foul balls and lasted 13 total minutes.
Here’s how it unfolded:
Jaime Barria wins 21(!) pitch at bat with Brandon Belt. pic.twitter.com/6NhrlPaAQs
— MLB (@MLB) April 22, 2018
In the end, the Giants wound up seeing 49 pitches from Barria in the first inning, which is partly why, although he had given up just two earned runs, he lasted just 2.0 innings before exiting. The Angels, then, had to use seven different pitchers to finish the game … and they lost.
It’s not like it all came down to that plate appearance against Belt, but it’s sure hard to say it didn’t matter disproportionately.