No Giant has lit up the talk radio phone lines more than Brandon Belt over the past decade, but in the PlayStation world, least, the Belt Wars appear to be over.
NBC Sports Bay Area has been simulating the Giants season and it's actually going pretty well. Entering Friday's game against the White Sox, which aired at 7 p.m. with Kruk and Kuip providing the commentary, the Giants are 20-17. That's considerably better than the preseason projections, and a lot of it is because of Belt.
Through 37 simulated games, Virtual Brandon Belt is hitting .364 with 12 homers. He ranks fourth in the league in average, home runs and total hits (47). While the real Belt is still looking for his first 20-homer season, it's not too out-of-character that he's off to such a hot start. Belt has hit his most homers in May, followed by April, and he has had some promising campaigns wrecked by midseason injuries.
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Hopefully that's not the case in the PlayStation world -- and it's never a bad idea to accidentally restart the console when one of your key players gets hurt. You can watch Belt take on the White Sox tonight, along with some other virtual Giants who are off to hot starts.
Buster Posey and Wilmer Flores have five homers apiece and Mike Yastrzemski has six in a bid for a second 20-homer season. The game seems to be a believer that the Giants will hit for more power, as team executives have predicted in real life. Eight players are on pace to reach double-digits and four are on pace for 20 bombs.
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The pitching side is where it has gotten away from the Virtual Giants. While Jeff Samardzija has a 2.81 ERA and Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly have pitched reasonably well, Johnny Cueto has a 6.60 ERA in eight starts. In the bullpen, most of the numbers are high, but Trevor Gott (1.61 ERA) and Jarlin Garcia (2.12) have been dominant.
Gausman is the starter against the Virtual White Sox. He's 2-0 with a 4.38 ERA.