SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have taken plenty of losses on the field this season. The hit they took late Friday night could be much more serious.
Brandon Belt was hit in the side of the head by a pitch in the sixth inning and removed immediately. Belt was feeling concussion-like symptoms after the incident and he will be reevaluated on Saturday morning. If Belt does have a concussion, it would be his fourth in the last eight years.
“He’s been through this before, so it’s obvious there are some concerns there,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Belt missed the final 15 games of the 2015 season after diving into an infielder’s knee while getting back to second base, and 46 games in 2014 after getting hit by a Marco Scutaro throw during batting practice. He also suffered a serious concussion while playing at the University of Texas. In the past, Belt has seen specialists to try and recover.
The Giants were waiting a day before making any definitive statement, but it seems a lock that Belt will be put on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Bochy and general manager Bobby Evans met after the game to discuss the situation. Ryder Jones, who moved over after Belt was removed, is the next man up at first base.
Belt was sent home before the clubhouse was opened to reporters.
“I’m sure this is probably scaring him a little bit because he’s been through this,” Bochy said. “It’s not a lot of fun going through one and now he’s going through another. I’m sure he’s got some concerns, as we do. Our hope is this thing will be better tomorrow.”
While leading off the inning, Belt took a 79 mph curveball from rookie Anthony Banda to the side of the helmet. He went straight down, holding his head as trainer Dave Groeschner ran to the plate. After a couple of minutes, Belt stood up. He was removed immediately by Groeschner and Bochy. AT&T Park was silent, and Banda, who had command issues all night, crouched on the mound and bit into his glove.
The Diamondbacks have hit two Giants in the head this season. Buster Posey landed on the concussion disabled list in April after taking a Taijuan Walker fastball off the helmet. In the top of the seventh, Madison Bumgarner hit Jake Lamb in the ribs with a fastball. There was little question about the intent.
Belt, by just about any standard, has been the Giants’ second-best player this season. He leads the team with 18 homers, tying his career-high, and has a .823 OPS. Belt also is in serious contention for his first Gold Glove Award. He has started to heat up over the past week, with four multi-hit games, two homers and seven doubles over his past nine games.