SAN FRANCISCO — About an hour after Sunday’s loss, Brandon Belt was asked if he had watched a replay of the final strike of the game.
“I did, but I didn’t need to,” Belt said.
The first baseman, pinch-hitting in the bottom of the 10th, went down looking. With the tying run on second, Kenley Jansen threw a high cutter that Yasmani Grandal — one of the game’s best framers — yanked subtly downward. Home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman rung up a livid Belt on a pitch that was clearly a ball.
“That’s tough no matter how you look at it,” Belt said. “They’re humans back there, definitely, but that was so far out that it should have never happened. It was easily too high. There’s not much else you can say about it. It wasn’t a strike.”
Should Belt have protected a bit more on a pitch that close?
“It wasn’t close,” he countered. “It was not close.”
Belt’s manager agreed, saying it was “certainly not a strike.” In the end, there’s nothing the Giants could do about it. Brandon Crawford and Belt went down to Jansen late and the Giants lost 2-1, splitting with the Dodgers for the second time this season. While Bochy was annoyed by the call, he was equally bummed about a series of mistakes the Giants made.
Gorkys Hernandez strayed too far off second on a liner to right in the sixth and Yasiel Puig doubled him off to end an inning and a threat. In the eighth, Austin Jackson failed to get an important bunt down.
“A couple of spots were turning points,” Bochy said.
Both went the other way, and so did the game. For the Giants, it was a missed opportunity. They could have beaten Clayton Kershaw for the second time in eight games and sent the Dodgers out of here with a 2-7 record. Instead, both teams are floating somewhere in the middle. The road gets tougher from here. The first-place Diamondbacks visit AT&T Park on Monday night.