Bochy: Belt's pitch selection much improved

Bochy: Belt's pitch selection much improved

SAN DIEGO -- For the past few weeks, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt knew what he was doing. He also admitted being blissfully unaware of what he was accomplishing.

Belt reached base with a hit, walk or being hit by a pitch for 24 consecutive games until he went 0-for-4 in Wednesday night's 2-1 victory over San Diego. That matched the longest such streak of Belt's career.

During this year's streak, Belt's batting average rose from .262 to .311. He also hiked his total of walks to 31, the Majors' fourth-highest figure entering Thursday. His .429 on-base percentage ranked sixth in the big leagues.

"I didn't really know about it until probably four or five days ago," Belt said Thursday. "I knew I had done a good job of seeing the ball well, taking my walks and getting on base. I just didn't know that there was a streak attached to it. That's probably why I did have that streak, because I wasn't trying to do something. I was just letting it come naturally."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy praised Belt's productivity.

"He has made a lot of improvement with his pitch selection," Bochy said. "He could be a leadoff hitter, the way he's getting on base."

Bochy observed that Belt's efficiency often goes unappreciated by umpires. Bochy explained that Belt has a knack for quickly checking his swing. But he does it so rapidly that he's often deemed to have swung through a pitch.

"He gets penalized sometimes," Bochy said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.