SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Belt has made a lot of claims over the years that might not hold up under cross examination.
He says he’s the best swimmer from his county in Texas, though the only proof of this is that he once allegedly went swimming in a minor league dugout during a rain delay. His vertical apparently is NBA-worthy. He once said he was the best soccer player from his hometown, although it should be noted here that Clint Dempsey is also from Nacogdoches.
There is no denying, though, that Belt is likely correct with the claim he made at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
"I'm the best 18th inning player ever," he said, laughing as he headed for a long overdue shower.
Sounds about right.
Belt mercifully got everyone heading towards the exits when he led off the bottom of the 18th inning with a double that went about 420 feet and missed being a walk-off by inches. He scored on Erik Kratz's grounder to second, sliding safely into home as the Giants beat the Rockies 3-2 in a marathon that lasted five hours and 35 minutes.
This matched the longest game in Oracle Park history, and none of the current Giants were around when they tangled with the Diamondbacks for 18 innings in 2001. But many on the roster played in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, a legendary postseason game that was decided when Belt took Tanner Roark deep in the 18th inning.
"I'm 2 for 2 in the 18th, peeps," Belt said.
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Who else can say that? Thus, this claim is one that Belt can hold for the rest of his career. It sounds like he will.
"I'm Mr. 18th inning," he said. "Right next to Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter."