Terrible Injury News For SF Giants At Worst Time

The San Francisco Giants are clinging to a two-game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead, as the final week of play begins. But the Giants will have to finish out the regular season without a critical piece of the team's lineup.

Brandon Belt suffered a fractured thumb when he was hit by a 93 mph fastball while attempting to bunt on Sunday, and he'll be working with team doctors this week to determine the best course of action before a return timetable is known. 

Belt actually stayed in the game after the incident, but an x-ray on Monday revealed the break. 

There's no understating Belt's importance to the Giants this season; he's been the team's best hitter through August and September, belting 18 home runs along with a 1.085 OPS since returning from his last stint on the injured list, Aug. 5th. 

In his last 30 games, he's hitting .333, with 28 runs, 26 RBIs and a 1.143 OPS. 

While the Giants platoon at practically every position, Belt's importance to the lineup has seen him play on an everyday basis, regardless of who's pitching. 

The Giants open their final homestand of the year Tuesday night to finish the regular season, facing the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games, before hosting the San Diego Padres on the weekend. The Dodgers, two games back, have a bit tougher of a schedule, facing the Padres for three, but then finish up with a series against the Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. 

The race for 1st place in the West is crucial, as the winner is guaranteed a spot in the Division Series, while the loser will have to host the one-game Wild Card showdown against the blistering-hot St. Louis Cardinals—winners of 16 consecutive games. And nobody wants to face the Cardinals in a one-game winner-take-all right now. 

Photo Credit: Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports