LOS ANGELES – If you are Brandon Belt, what is worse than going 0 for 5 with four strikeouts?
Flying to Dodger Stadium knowing that Clayton Kershaw is next.
If you haven’t memorized it by now, Belt is 3 for 51 with 27 strikeouts in his career against Kershaw. I am able to recite those numbers without looking them up because they aren’t liable to change any time soon. The Giants appear determined to spare Belt from facing the Dodgers’ three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Belt is off as the Giants try to put aside a woeful April in which their 9-17 record ranked as their worst in the month since 1984. They’ve lost two series to the San Diego Padres. Their minus-1.3 run differential is the worst in the NL, and they haven’t exactly outperformed their Pythagorean record.
They’re still without Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford. They have received two home runs from their outfielders all season. Buster Posey has become Rod Carew, which is not a bad thing on its own. Except Posey is the cleanup hitter in this lineup, and he’s expected to collect these things called extra-base hits and RBIs.
The Giants’ slugging percentage is .342. Clayton Kershaw is allowing opponents a .338 slugging percentage this season. So pretty much, the Giants have turned all pitchers they have faced this season into Clayton Kershaw.
But buck up and dry your eyes. It’s a new month. Hope is a good thing – maybe the best of things.
And if not, well, there’s always Netflix.