09/02/12 2:30 PM ET
Injury problems may be behind Sandoval's struggles
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
Sandoval hit .315 with a .552 slugging percentage and a .909 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) a year ago, compared with corresponding figures of .281, .444 and .778 entering Sunday.
With lefty on hill, Bochy goes with Pill at first
CHICAGO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy stuck with the percentages Sunday in his choice of first basemen, opting for right-handed-hitting Brett Pill instead of left-handed-swinging Brandon Belt, San Francisco's primary starter at that spot.Left-hander Travis Wood, Chicago's starting pitcher, entered the game having limited left-handed batters to a .196 average, compared with .255 against right-handers. But Pill hadn't taken full advantage of his opportunities against lefties, as his .214 batting average against them demonstrated. Belt had hit .232 off lefties. Belt also entered Sunday batting .349 in his last 27 games, lifting his overall average to .266. Bochy expressed confidence that Belt, a .225 hitter last year, will continue to progress. "He's made some adjustments that will help him. His confidence has grown, too," Bochy said of Belt, who has been in and out of the lineup this year instead of back and forth between San Francisco and Triple-A Fresno, as was the case last season. "It's the usual growth year for a young player. He's turning on the ball yet using the whole field."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.