Jaime Barria and Brandon Belt battled in a 21-pitch at-bat for the ages -- and the history books
It took Jaime Barria 49 pitches to get through the first inning of the Giants' 4-2 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium on Sunday. No, he didn't give up a bunch of hits or walks or anything like that.
He did, though, battle Giants first baseman Brandon Belt for quite some time. 21 pitches, to be exact.
Yes, you read that right. After falling behind in the count, 1-2, Belt dug in, took some balls and fouled off 16 pitches before lining out to Kole Calhoun in right field. It was epic:
That pitch chart is really something.
Barria's 49-pitch first inning was the 2nd highest first-inning pitch count by an Angels starter since data began being tracked in 1988 -- but he came close to eclipsing that of Chuck Finley, who needed 50 to get through the first in a game on June 15, 1991.
As for the 21-pitch showdown between Belt and Barria, it beat the previous record of 20 pitches, which was carried out by a young Bartolo Colon and Astros outfielder Ricky Gutierrez in 1998. It ended with Gutierrez striking out, so in both of these cases the pitcher emerged victorious.
MLB.com's Maria Guardado talked to Barria about the at-bat postgame:
"I got a little tired. It was 21 pitches and almost 50 pitches in the first inning. But I prepared myself mentally to get through the second inning quickly. I attacked the batters, and fortunately, it went well."
And when did he find out it was an all-time high?
"When I came out of the game, I came back to the gym and that's when I found out that it was a record."
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado seemed to wonder if it would ever end.
"Oh, yeah. Even the second AB, he did the same thing. First two at-bats, went to two strikes after foul ball after foul ball. I was like, 'This can't be happening.'"
There have certainly been some highly entertaining marathon at-bats over the years, and thanks to Sunday, Barria and Belt are now part of that conversation.