- Brandon Belt and Jaime Barria had a duel for the ages Sunday, setting the record for most pitches in an at-bat.
- Belt fouled off 11 consecutive pitches at one point during the 21-pitch marathon, which took nearly 13 minutes, before flying out to right field.
- The Giants later won the game, 4-2, thanks in part to a home run from Belt, who has been on a tear.
Brandon Belt set an MLB record on Sunday after fighting through a gruelling 21-pitch at-bat against Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jaime Barria. After falling behind in the count 1-2, Belt was able to work the count full and then proceeded to foul off 11 consecutive pitches before finally putting a ball in play.
The exhausting first-inning plate appearance, which also included multiple pickoff attempts to first base, took up almost 13 minutes during the first inning of the game and ended somewhat comically with a lineout to right field.
You can watch the entire at-bat below – even sped up, it still takes nearly two minutes to get through.
The at-bat broke the record held by Ricky Gutierrez, who managed a 20-pitch duel with Bartolo Colon in 1998.
Predictably, Belt’s marathon at the plate produced a few chaotic graphics, including this one from the folks at Comcast Sports.
“I wasn’t going to give it up, and the pitcher wasn’t either,” Belt said after the game. “It made for a good battle. If it helped get me a little bit locked in for later in the game, it was worth it.”
Belt also conceded that he felt a little sorry for the other players on the field, as he’s no fan of extended at-bats. “If I’m in the field and somebody does it, I can’t stand it, but I wasn’t going to give in,” Belt said. “I basically had to apologise to everybody after that.”
While Belt’s nearly quarter of an hour at the plate didn’t get him on base, it did help push Barria – who was making just his second career major-league start – to a pitch count of 49 in the first inning. When Belt made it back to the plate in the third inning, he took another eight pitches before loading the bases with a single, prompting the Angels to pull Barria after two-plus innings of work. Thirty-eight per cent of his 77 pitches Sunday were to Belt.
In the fifth inning, Belt hit a home run off of reliever Blake Parker in a nine-pitch at-bat, marking his fourth consecutive game with a home run and helping the Giants to their eventual 4-2 victory in Los Angeles.
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