SAN FRANCISCO -- Five games from the end of the season, the last thing Gabe Kapler wants to be starting his postgame press conferences with is a round of injury updates, but he had quite a few to give after a 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The first one was the main one and by far the most concerning. Brandon Belt saw a specialist in the afternoon and it was determined that his fractured left thumb will be reevaluated in a couple of weeks. At the very least, that knocks Belt out of the first round of the playoffs and likely for much longer given that the evaluation is just the first step toward a return.
The Giants came into their 157th game knowing they would be without Belt for a while, and it didn't get any easier from there. A wild Diamondbacks pitching staff hit two Giants -- Alex Dickerson and Thairo Estrada -- both of whom were sent for X-rays. Starting second baseman and leadoff hitter Tommy La Stella was also removed because of Achilles soreness.
"He's been dealing with some discomfort in his Achilles for several days," Kapler said. "He was working through it in Colorado and it kind of was just bugging him today. I don't think he felt at risk in any way, but what I do think he felt was a little bit compromised."
Dickerson got an X-ray on his left foot during the game and it came back negative. Estrada was going for one on his right hand after the game, but it was precautionary. He played the remainder of the game at second base. After Estrada was hit, third baseman Evan Longoria had a long conversation with three of the umpires. Kapler said he wasn't sure what those conversations were about, but there certainly appeared to be some annoyance on the bench that Diamondbacks pitchers were so wild just two days after the Giants lost their hottest hitter to an inside fastball.
"I think there's some frustration any time we see our hitters having to get out of the way of pitches, I think there's some frustration any time we see guys get hit like Estrada did, particularly around some other injuries that are happening," Kapler said. "It just kind of creates a heightened level of sensitivity. At the same time, I think our players are very focused and are looking to avoid any sort of additional distraction right now. There's a lot at stake every day.
"There's certainly a lot at stake from a health standpoint, and now here we are after a game that we won and I think we want to get ready for tomorrow's baseball game. There are a lot of ways to go with this but I think right now we just want to have that laser-sharp focus on the step right in front of us."
Those next steps will be taken without Belt, who was placed on the IL before the game. Kapler said there was no timetable for his return beyond the fact that Belt will be re-evaluated in a couple weeks.
"He's still kind of swollen, there's some inflammation in there, and it's going to be some time before we have a good understanding of how quickly he's going to heal," he said.
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