Monday, June 28, 2010

Sandoval's Struggles Continue...and Continue

What happened to our beloved Panda? Yes, the guy who was the focal point of this Giants' offense; yes, the guy with the happy-go-lucky attitude and funny personality; yes, the guy this team was supposed to built around for the next several seasons.

These days, the Panda is costing the Giants wins. Sure, it takes a whole team effort to do that, but Sandoval has hurt this team more than you think.

Last night, it seemed like it all came to a head. The talk after the game was Sandoval's base running mishap and how it could have turned this game compeletely around for the Giants. And it most certainly could have. With no outs and Rowand bluffing at tagging on a shallow fly ball to right field, Sandoval takes it upon himself to make a play, the wrong one. Sandoval would be tagged out trying to tag from first base, a rookie mistake. The play really showed how inexperienced Sandoval still is in the majors.

Probably not what you would expect from the "focal point" of your offense. Is that what we are calling his role on this team these days?

Sandoval's plunge in the line-up has hurt this team more than we know. The guy who was supposed to be the #3 hitter on this team for years is now your #7 and sometimes #8 hitter. Maybe it is Bochy trying to send a message to him, or maybe this is where he actually belongs in the line-up. The 2nd half of the season will tell is, because good hitters get out of slumps.

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Sandoval would be pinch-hit for in the bottom of the 9th inning with men on 1st and 3rd base with the Giants down 2 runs, as he was last night, I would have figured that Bochy would have been fired the next day for making such a bonehead move. "Who pinch-hits for their best hitter in such a crucial spot?" I would have said to you.

Last night, I believe I uttered the words, "Great move."

But these days, a pinch hitter in that situation was the best move for the ball club last night. It gave them a better chance. Sure, Buster Posey struck out, but it goes to show what faith the Giants have in their so-called prized hitter. Sandoval could have bounced into a double play. Posey is smarter than that.

Call it what you want, sophomore slump or just a bad first-half of the season. But the Pablo Sandoval we are seeing now may be the real one, and everything we saw before from him was just a good run by a so-so player who gave a fan base too much to hope for.

1 comment:

  1. and again continued last night...Bochy needs to reel him back in and recast or he could lose him for good in mediocrity