SAN FRANCISCO — Josh Bell formed a fist with his left hand and knocked on the large ice bag taped to his left side. "I trust it now," he said, grinning moments after the Pirates celebrated a 4-0 win over over the Giants for their major-league-leading 13th shutout of the season at AT&T Park Saturday night.
Any remaining doubt about his strained left oblique disappeared when he turned on a fastball from Ty Blach for a 377-foot, three-run homer in the fourth inning. It was Bell's second home run of the series, both from the right side, and backed Trevor Williams's seven shutout innings. He's relieved to be healthy after missing five games and landing on the disabled list for the first time in his big-league career.
But the two home runs meant so much more to the switch-hitting first baseman. Those two powerful swings illustrated to him that he's finally discovered some level of comfort from the right after a rookie season that left him far from satisfied.
"It’s trust," Bell told DKPittsburghSports.com. "I have to trust when I get off my swing that I can change the game. I have to trust that when he makes a mistake that I’m going to hammer it. That trust goes a long way. It’s a long season if you’re not trusting yourself. You’re lost."