Results tagged ‘ Pablo Sandoval ’

Giants 5, Rockies 4 (10 inn.): Some fun facts about the game-winning Splash Hit by Brandon Crawford

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford hits a walk-off home run to beat the Colorado Rockies during the 10th inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 5-4. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford hits a walk-off home run to beat the Colorado Rockies during the 10th inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 13, 2014, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 5-4. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

 

  • WP: Sergio Romo (1-0)
  • HR: Pablo Sandoval (2), Brandon Crawford (1)

BOX SCORE

Sunday was almost a GREAT day for Splash Hits.

Nah, come to think of it, it was a great day for Splash Hits.

Brandon Crawford led off the bottom of the 10th inning by hitting his first Splash Hit, shooting a pitch off Rex Brothers (a left-hander no less) into McCovey Cove right down the right-field line to lift the Giants over the Rockies 5-4.

It was the first Splash Hit since Pablo Sandoval put one in the water on May 12, 2013.

Sandoval almost made it two Splash Hits in the same game in the sixth inning.

Sandoval’s shot to over the No. 3 archway was well on its way to the Bay, but the ball actually hit one of the flag poles that rise high above the Willie Mays Wall in right and bounced back.

If Sandoval had reached the water, it would have been a first — it would have been the first time two different Giants hit Splash Hits in the same game.

Barry Bonds twice hit a pair of Splash Hits in the same game — on May 10, 2000 vs. the Cardinals (Nos. 2 and 3 Splash Hits overall); and May 18, 2002 vs. the Marlins (Nos. 19 and 20).

Crawford’s home run was the 64th Splash Hit at AT&T/SBC/Pacific Bell Park. He became the 17th different player to record at Splash Hit. (Remember: Splash Hits are home runs on the fly into the bay hit by Giants hitters).

It was also the second walk-off Splash Hit. Barry Bonds had the other on Aug. 19, 2003.

So Barry Bonds hit 35 career Splash Hits.

Barry Bonds spent time this spring working with Brandon Crawford.

Brandon Crawford hits his first Splash Hit.

Hmmmm. Coincidence?

Here’s the list of Splash Hitters

  1. Barry Bonds 35
  2. Pablo Sandoval 7
  3. Brandon Belt 3
  4. Felipe Crespo 2
  5. Ryan Klesko 2
  6. Michael Tucker 2
  7. Andres Torres 2
  8. Aubrey Huff 2
  9. JT Snow 1
  10. Jose Cruz Jr 1
  11. AJ Pierzynski 1
  12. Randy Winn 1
  13. Fred Lewis 1
  14. John Bowker 1
  15. Nate Schierholtz 1
  16. Carlos Beltran 1
  17. Brandon Crawford 1

NEXT UP

After an off day, Tim Lincecum faces Josh Beckett as the Giants and Dodgers open a three-game series at AT&T Park at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

Pablo Sandoval goes on the disabled list … AGAIN

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval, right, rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks Martin Prado looks on during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, right, rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks Martin Prado looks on during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The San Francisco Giants took another injury hit on Tuesday when they placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list.

There was a little bit of confusion over the nature of the injury. Giants CEO Larry Baer said on Monday it was a hairline fracture in his foot. The Giants corrected that on Tuesday, saying that the MRI revealed a previous hairline fractured that had healed. The team says the nature of the injury is a strained tendon in his foot.

Sandoval hurt his foot back in late May and aggravated it on Friday. The Giants feel that two weeks off is the only way for Sandoval to heal and expect him back with the team on June 24 when his 15 days are up.

Because of the shortest possible DL stint, the Giants are going to fill Sandoval’s vacancy with a combination of Joaquin Arias taking over the starting role at third base and Tony Abreu and Nick Noonan as backups. Noonan was recalled from Triple-A Fresno after only playing one game for the Grizzlies after his recent demotion.

“With (Arias) and Noonan and Abreu, we can ham-and-egg this until we get Pablo back,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

When asked to comment, Sandoval said “Mmmmm, jamon y huevos.”

OK, OK, we like to have fun with the Sandoval’s weight, but the Giants say there is no way of telling if the Panda’s girth had anything to do with the injury.

But the Giants did want Sandoval to work on his conditioning during his DL stint. Why? Well, obviously Sandoval’s fitness has been a problem since spring training. Unlike previous offseasons, Sandoval didn’t spend time last winter trying to shed pounds.

Plus, he’s put on weight during his previous stints on the DL. He added pounds when he broke his hamate bone in one hand in 2011, when broke his OTHER hamate bone in 2012, when he pulled his hamstring in 2012.

In the meantime, the Giants will turn to Arias. Arias did a nice job filling in for Sandoval last season, which earned him a spot on the team all the way through the postseason.

He has not done much this season, hitting .220. But he also has been limited to 10 starts. He got off to a very cold start, but is hitting .276 over the past four weeks.

There has been some chatter about the Giants bringing up another third baseman to replace Sandoval’s bat, but there really aren’t any plausible options.

I saw someone mention Adam Duvall, who is playing third base at Double-A Richmond. But he’s only played 27 games above Class A, and those all came this year as Duvall missed time this season with an injury.

Giants 5, Braves 1: Celebrating another Splash Hit

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval (48) hits a solo home run against Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval (48) hits a solo home run against Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It was a busy weekend for MoreSplashHits. Hey, it was Mother’s Day weekend, so we weren’t blogging much.

But we were stilling watching the Giants, and Sunday’s game provided us with another Splash Hits.

Pablo Sandoval delivered the first Splash Hits of 2013 and the 63rd in the history of AT&T Park when he took Kris Medlen deep in the third inning. Watch here:

It was Sandoval’s first Splash Hit since Aug. 31, 2011 and the seventh of his career. That ranks him second all-time behind …. some guy named …. Bonds, whoever that is.

Brandon Belt had delivered the last three Splash Hits. Belt also homered Sunday, but he hit his the other way to left field. Here’s a list of Splash Hit leaders.

  1. Barry Bonds 35
  2. Pablo Sandoval 7
  3. Brandon Belt 3

Sunday’s home runs helped cap a relaxing weekend for Giants fans. Prior to Friday, the Giants had only won two games without the need of a save or walk-off win.

None of the three wins against the Braves over the weekend required a save or walk-off win, with the Giants winning 8-2, 10-1 and 5-1. Before Friday, the Giants’ run differential was 0. Now, it’s +19.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Some more late-inning power bites Snakes

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval, right, rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks Martin Prado looks on during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, right, rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run as Arizona Diamondbacks Martin Prado looks on during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Giants have hit just 18 home runs this season, second fewest among NL teams (and with Giancarlo Stanton going to be sidelined for a while, the Marlins don’t  figure to add many to their total of 12).

But don’t tell the Arizona Diamondbacks about the Giants’ power shortage. Because against Arizona, it seems whenever the Giants need a big blast they’ve got one.

For the fourth time in five games this season against the Diamondbacks, the Giants have hit a home run in the eighth or ninth innings to erase a deficit.

  • On April 22, Buster Posey hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 4-4. The Giants would win the next inning 5-4.
  • On April 23 vs. Arizona, Brandon Belt hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie game 4-4. Arizona would wind up winning in the 11th, 6-4
  • On April 24 vs. Arizona, Brandon Crawford hits a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie game 2-2. Arizona would win the game 3-2 in the 10th.

So when Josh Wilson hit a solo home run, giving Arizona a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday, the stage was set for some more late-inning thunder from the Giants.

And thankfully, they got some help from Arizona manager Kirk Gibson.

Gibson actually pulled a Bochy.

After Wilson’s home run off Santiago Casilla in the eighth gave Arizona the lead, Gibson opted to let pitcher Trevor Cahill hit for himself with one out in the eighth.

Despite holding a narrow 1-0 lead, the move appeared to be a sound one as Cahill was shutting out the Giants on three hits and he had only thrown 82 pitches through eight innings.

Angel Pagan led off the ninth and worked the count full on Cahill before shooting a single into right field. That led Gibson to come get Cahill and bring in J.J. Putz.

“I didn’t want him to take the loss,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “I had confidence in my closer and it didn’t work out.”

Thanks a lot, Gibby.

Pagan stole second, Marco Scutaro struck out, then Pablo Sandoval hammered a Putz pitch deep over the wall in right center for a 2-1 Giants led.

Sergio Romo would come in and set the Diamondbacks down in order in the ninth for his 10th save of the season.

It game the Giants their 15th win in April. If the Giants win 15 games every month, they’ll win 90 games for the season. So the blast ended April on a positive note. It gives the Giants the chance to salvage the road trip with a 3-3 mark with a win Wednesday. And it means they didn’t completely squander seven shutout innings from Madison Bumgarner, who lowered his ERA 1.55.

Have you ever wondered what’s up with all that gunk on Pablo Sandoval’s helmet?

The Panda usually heads to the plate with a helmet full of crud.

The Panda usually heads to the plate with a helmet full of crud.

I’ve been watching baseball games for more than 30 years. But I ran across something I never realized before. So I thought I’d share with you.

So I was watching a San Francisco Giants game recently when someone asked me “What is up with all that gunk on Pablo Sandoval’s helmet?”

My response: “Aw, it’s just something baseball guys do.”

Friend: “Is there any purpose to it?”

Me: “Is there any purpose to baseball players spitting every 30 seconds?”

Friend: “Well, it’s disgusting. They should make a rule against it.”

I shrugged the suggestion off. I mean, Pablo’s not the first nor the only player to encase his batting helmet in gunk.

I can remember Craig Biggio doing it in the 1990s and early 2000s.

biggiocrud

And Vladimir Guerrero was another culprit.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees

And, of course, Manny Ramirez.

LApinetar

It just seemed like an age-old tradition.

But last week while watching game, one of the TV commentators talked about the gunk on the helmets, and gave a perfectly logical explanation that never dawned on me before.

It’s pine tar, that sticky substance that is normally on a rag on the on-deck circle for batters to apply to the handle of their bat for a better grip.

Well, some hitters will also rub that pine tar rag on their helmets as they head to the plate. Why? Well, if you’re in the middle of a particularly long at-bat and you want a little more stick to your grip, you don’t have to walk back to the on deck circle to grab the pine tar rag — and the umps probably wouldn’t let you — you just have to adjust your helmet and get a little more pine tar.

But some players have taken this practice to the new level. Take a look at this image of the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp.

Matt Kemp

I was watching Kemp last week, and I saw that stain on his shoulder. I couldn’t remember Kemp making a diving play in the outfielder or sliding on the basepaths to get that stain. And even if he had, how could the only stain be on his shoulder.

Then I realized that Kemp, instead of rubbing his batting helmet in pine tar, he rubs the rag on his shoulder for his extra supply when he is at the plate.

Of course, there is an inherent danger to carrying all this pine tar on your body. What if you helmet flies off your head as you’re racing down to first base. The pitcher could pick the helmet up for the hitter and hand it back to him. Looks like a nice gesture until you realize that the pitcher has some sticky pine tar on his pitching hand and is now able to snap off some wicked sliders or curveballs.

Something to think about.

And, of course, whenever you play around with pine tar, it’s always a good idea to be careful.

You don’t want to end up like this guy.

bretttar

San Francisco Giants set opening day roster with Sandoval, Sanchez and Quiroz

Guillermo Quiroz may have locked down the final spot on the Giants’ 25-man opening day roster with one swing Saturday.

Quiroz hammered a three-run home run off Bartolo Colon in the seventh inning, accounting for all of the Giants’ run in a 4-3 loss to the A’s in the preseason finale.

San Francisco Giants' Guillermo Quiroz hits a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon during the seventh inning of a baseball game on Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland won the game 4-3. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

San Francisco Giants’ Guillermo Quiroz hits a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon during the seventh inning of a baseball game on Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland won the game 4-3. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Or the decision could have been made before Quiroz came to the plate on Saturday.

The Giants made their final roster moves before Monday’s season opener by purchasing the contract of Quiroz and adding him to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Cole Gillespie, in the mix as a fifth outfielder, was sent to Minor League camp. He’ll likely open the season in Triple-A Fresno.

With Quiroz on the roster, the Giants could use Hector Sanchez as a pinch-hitter. Sanchez is a switch hitter, which gives the Giants more options late in a game.

“He has a good, adjustable bat from both sides of the plate,” Giants vice president Bobby Evans said of Sanchez.

Sanchez battled a sore shoulder this spring. But he caught back-to-back games this weekend in minor league camp in Arizona, and Evans said he looks pretty good.

Still, the very fact that Sanchez was left in Arizona while the rest of the Giants came north shows that the Giants had — and may still have — concerns about Sanchez’s healthy. It seems evident that when Buster Posey gets a day off in the season’s early going, it will be Quiroz — not Sanchez — behind the plate. This will give Sanchez extra time to build strength in the shoulder so it doesn’t act up again.

The 31-year-old Quiroz, who batted .282 this spring, has played in 103 big-league games over eight seasons with the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers, Orioles and Red Sox.

Not adding Gillespie means the Giants will open the season with four pure outfielders. But the ability of Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres to play all three outfield positions gives the Giants some flexibility. And the fact that all four outfielders are solid defenders, there won’t be any need to late-inning defensive replacements. Also, Brandon Belt remains an option in the outfield, as well as Joaquin Arias.

The final roster decision focused on Pablo Sandoval, who left Friday’s game with the A’s early after feeling some discomfort in his troublesome elbow.

Sandoval told manager Bruce Bochy that he was better Saturday and wanted to play. The Giants held him out as a precaution. Sandoval played catch before Saturday’s game, and will work out again Sunday before the team flies to Los Angeles Sunday afternoon, just to make sure everything’s working right.

Here is the Giants’ 25-man opening day roster for 2013

Projected Monday lineup:

  1. CF Angel Pagan
  2. 2B Marco Scutaro
  3. 3B Pablo Sandoval
  4. C Buster Posey
  5. RF Hunter Pence
  6. 1B Brandon Belt
  7. LF Andres Torres
  8. SS Brandon Crawford
  9. RHP Matt Cain

Other starting pitchers: LH Madison Bumgarner, RH Tim Lincecum, LH Barry Zito, RH Ryan Vogelsong.

Bullpen: RH Sergio Romo, LH Jeremy Affeldt, LH Javier Lopez, LH Jose Mijares, RH Santiago Casilla, RH George Kontos, RH Chad Gaudin

Bench: C Hector Sanchez, C Guillermo Quiroz, IF Nick Noonan, IF Joaquin Arias, OF Gregor Blanco

Pablo Sandoval is giving himself two years to get in shape

Commissioner Bud Selig hands San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval his MVP trophy after Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, Pool )

Commissioner Bud Selig hands San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval his MVP trophy after Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, Pool )

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were in the Giants Store at AT&T Park, and she asks me “What’s up with the panda hat.”

I explained how one of the Giants’ most popular players was nicknamed Kung Fu Panda. She responded: “Oh, then I need to get one of these.”

And thus began a whole line of novelty Giants memorabilia items dedicated to Giants players: Wilson beards, Lincecum wigs (now collector’s items), Baby Giraffes, White Sharks, Melkmen, and on and on.

(more…)

Plenty of MVPs to go around for World Series champion San Francisco Giants

Commissioner Bud Selig hands San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval his MVP trophy after Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, Pool )

Pablo Sandoval was the MVP of the 2012 World Series. And that was an easy call.

The Panda hit .500 (8 for 16) with three home runs, four RBI, a double and only two strikeouts. And, of course, he had the three-homer game.

But there were a lot of MVPs in the World Series for the Giants. Here are others:

RHP Tim Lincecum 4.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, one walk, eight strikeouts

RHP Sergio Romo 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, five strikeouts, three saves

LHP Madison Bumgarner 7 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 1 win.

RHP Ryan Vogelsong, 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 run, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 win

OF Gregor Blanco, 4-15 (.267), 3B, RBI, three great catches, great relay throw to Marco Scutaro to get Prince Fielder at the plate

C Buster Posey, 4-15 (.267), HR, 3 RBI, caught outstanding series, two shutouts.

LHP Barry Zito, 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 win, 1-2, RBI

LHP Jeremy Affeldt, 2 IP, 0 hit, 0 run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

SS Brandon Crawford, 3-12 (.250), RBI, stolen base, outstanding defensive shortstop

Pablo Sandoval makes World Series history as San Francisco Giants beat Detroit Tigers in Game 1

San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hits a solo home run in the fifth inning of Game 1 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

BOX SCORE

It’s a good thing the Giants signed Pablo Sandoval through his arbitration years. Otherwise, his representation would do a little name dropping at the Panda’s hearing.

As in Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols … and Pablo Sandoval.

The Panda became the fourth player in World Series history to hit three home runs in a game.

In one way, the Panda is in a class by himself. Sandoval became the first player to hit home runs in his first three plate appearances of a World Series game.

Sandoval came up with two outs in the first inning. He fell behind 0-2 to Detroit’s Justin Verlander. Verlander’s third pitch was a letter-high fastball that Sandoval hammered over the center-field fence 410 feet away.

In the third inning, Sandoval came up after the Giants had scored a run on an Angel Pagan double off the third base bag and a single by Marco Scutaro (yet again). This time, Sandoval worked ahead on the count 2-0, drawing a visit to the mound from Tigers’ pitching coach Jeff Jones (who I loved in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, by the way). On Verlander’s next pitch, a fastball on the outer half of the plate, Sandoval went the opposite way, smacking the ball over the left-field run for a two-run shot and a 4-0 lead. The shot drew a “wow” from Verlander.

In the fifth, Sandoval came up with one out against reliever Al Alburquerque. Sandoval threw his bat after swinging and missing on the first pitch. When the bat landed near the Tigers’ dugout, it broke the handle. The Panda fetched another bat, and after a ball in the dirt, he served the ball deep over the center-field wall.

Sandoval came up once more in the game and simply lined a single to center off Jose Valverde, ending a 4-for-4 night.

To look at Sandoval’s night another way: Last year, the Cardinals’ David Freese was the World Series MVP with 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 HR and 7 RBI for the series. On Wednesday night, Sandoval had 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 HR and 4 RBI.

The last three times a player had a three-homer game, his team went on to win the World Series. Ruth’s Yankees beat the Cardinals in 4 in 1928, Jackson’s Yankees beat the Dodgers in 6 in 1977 and Pujols’ Cardinals beat the Rangers in 7 in 2011.

Here’s a look at other three-homer games in the World Series.

BABE RUTH

1926 Game 4: Yankees 10, Cardinals 5

Oct. 6, 1926, at Sportsman Park, St. Louis

Ruth went 3 for 3 with two walks. He hit a solo off in the first and a solo in the third against Flint Rhem and a two-run shot in the sixth off Hi Bell.

1928 Game 4: Yankees 7, Cardinals 3

Oct. 9, 1928 at Sporstman Park, St. Louis

Ruth went 3 for 5. He hit solo homers off Bill Sherdel in the fourth and seventh innings and another solo off Pete Alexander in the eighth.

REGGIE JACKSON

1977 Game 6: Yankees 8, Dodgers 4

Oct. 18, 1977, at Yankee Stadium

Jackson went 3 for 3 with one walk. He hit a two-run shot off Burt Hooton in the fourth inning, a two-run homer off Elias Sosa in the fifth and a solo shot off Charlie Hough in the eighth.

ALBERT PUJOLS

2011 Game 3: Cardinals 16, Rangers 7

Oct. 22, 2011, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Pujols went 5 for 6 with two singles. He hit all three of his homers off relievers — a three-run shot off Alexi Ogando in the sixth inning, a two-run homer off Mike Gonzalez in the seventh and a solo shot off Darren Oliver in the ninth.

Five good reasons San Francisco Giants can win without Melky Cabrera: No. 2, Panda is back

Two days before losing Cabrera for the rest of the season, the Giants got Pablo Sandoval off the disabled list.

The Giants won’t have Cabrera for the last 45 games of the regular season. They’ve already played 53 games with Sandoval on the DL and survived just fine, going 29-24 over those 53 games.

Now, we are not suggesting that the Giants can simply replace Cabrera with Sandoval. Not by a longshot.

But the Giants are a stronger team in August than they were in May, when Sandoval started his 35-game stint on the DL with a broken hammate bone.

Another way to think of it: the Giants have six contant players in their lineups in May as they do now: Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Ryan Theriot and Buster Posey.

So which lineup is stronger: One that includes Melky Cabrera and Joaquin Arias, or one that includes Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence?

Now some sabermetrics would still argue for the former. But there are other factors at play.

Buster Posey is red hot now. Brandon Belt is producing more like the Giants hoped he would. Brandon Crawford is hitting better. And the Giants have Marco Scutaro as a second base alternative to Theriot.

So having Sandoval back with a better-producing lineup around him should help soften the loss of Cabrera and keep the Giants competitive.

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