Brandon Belt's 21-Pitch At-Bat Breaks MLB Record for Most Pitches Seen in an AB

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2018

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt watches his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt certainly waited for his pitch in his first at-bat of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Angels.

As the MLB account showed, he saw 21 pitches against Jaime Barria in the first inning before lining out to right field:

Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, this broke the previous MLB record for pitches in an at-bat, originally set in 1998 in a battle between Ricky Gutierrez and Bartolo Colon.

While Barria won the at-bat and escaped the first inning without allowing any runs, he threw 49 total pitches. Considering it was just his second career start, it was a rude awakening for the 21-year-old.

The right-hander threw just 71 pitches in an impressive debut in which he allowed one hit in five innings against the Texas Rangers, but he was immediately sent back to Triple-A. His return to the majors might be short-lived as well.

Meanwhile, Belt has made going deep into counts a habit throughout his career.

He averaged more than 4.1 pitches per plate appearance in each of the last three years, per ESPN.com, entering Sunday with a mark of 3.88 this year. Even when he does get out, he forces the opposing pitcher to work and gives himself an opportunity to familiarize himself with the pitcher's delivery for future at-bats.

Although this was an extreme case, Belt did everything he could to help his team with an empty-bases out.

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