On Sunday afternoon, Angels pitcher Jaime Barria made his second career start at the major league level and you would have to imagine that he probably felt like he was really getting into the swing of things following a decent start on April 11 against the Rangers. It’s hard to imagine that he figured that Sunday was going to be the day where he ended up doing battle with Brandon Belt for what would end up being the longest at-bat in the modern era of the game.
Normally, you start to get excited about a long at-bat when you get to around the eighth pitch. Once you get to 10 or 11 pitches, then you start to figure that something interesting is going on. By the 10th pitch, the count was full and Belt was on his way to fouling off his sixth pitch of the duel. At this point it was clear that both players were not going to give in and were fully prepared to dig in. Jaime Barria kept on peppering Brandon Belt with everything in his arsenal and Belt kept on swinging and putting balls into foul territory.
By the time they got to around 17 pitches, the Giants dugout was clearly enthralled by what was going on and the crowd was as into it as they could possibly be for the second at-bat of the first inning of a game in April. The extended battle finally came to its conclusion after Belt finally put the 21st pitch of the at-bat between the lines and into the glove of Kole Calhoun for the out.
There’s a saying that the 27th out of any given game is always the hardest out to get but in this case, it turned out that the very first out of the game ended up being Jaime Barria’s white whale. Brandon Belt absolutely refused to give in and while this historically long at-bat ended up being fruitless, he did eventually hit a homer later in the game and that one came off of Blake Parker. Parker was relieving Barria after he exited in the third inning after 77 pitches and what will be the longest at-bat he will ever experience.
- In case you may not have had a chance to watch the entire spectacle that was the Belt-Barria battle live, don’t worry. MLB’s official YouTube account knows that you are a baseball fiend and they uploaded the entire at-bat for you to watch at any time.
- Carlos Gomez struck out in the fifth inning of Sunday’s Rays-Twins game and snapped his bat in two over his knee. Apparently that bat was cursed and the new bat was blessed because he ended up hitting a walk-off dinger to win it for Tampa Bay.
- It’s early days but it seems like MLB is once again going to break its strikeout record this season and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has declared this current era as the Strikeout Era of baseball.
- Kris Bryant had a very scary moment when he got hit in the helmet by a pitch on Sunday. Fortunately, he didn’t suffer a concussion during the incident and his team ended up picking up the victory in what was described as a “wacky” game.
- Padres games may be a hard watch for their fans this season but Gaslamp Ball is trying to stick to it with Christian Villanueva serving as one of the lone bright spots so far.
- If the Padres are a hard watch right now then the Reds may be an impossible watch in the moment as they continued to get off to their worst start in franchise history.
- The Mariners sent Guillermo Heredia down to the minors and the crew at Lookout Landing is not happy about this development in the least bit, especially considering who they chose to keep up instead of Heredia.
- Jose Bautista is currently on a rehab assignment in the Braves farm system but he could be making his debut with the Braves sooner rather than later.