Pablo Sandoval was the All-Star of the 2018 season, and now he’s gone. He becomes the latest Giant to need season-ending surgery, as per the pre-game press gaggle:
Pablo Sandoval requires hamstring surgery and is out for the season. “They all hurt but Pablo was so valuable in all the roles he had this season.”— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 2, 2018
This is definitely one of those instances where you can look at the numbers (97 OPS+ in 252 plate appearances) and say that he brought a lot more to the team than on the field performance. But, really, he did bring some of that, too —
And, you can still “wear this moment” thanks to our friends at BreakingT — just because he’s out for the rest of the season doesn’t mean the shirt stops being made!
He wound up hitting as many home runs (14) in a season and a half with the Giants than he did in two and a half with the Red Sox. He’s the reason Dereck Rodriguez opted to sign with the Giants as a free agent this past offseason. Bruce Bochy had planned to play him at all nine positions in a single game when the Giants once the Giants were officially eliminated from playoff consideration.
Mainly, Pablo Sandoval made the Giants fun again, for the first time since he was last on the team. There might be a level of irony involved here in terms of the injury happening on a scoring play following a triple, a triple that only Pablo Sandoval could’ve hit, but I’m not all that interested in the ironic aspects of his season ending on a torn hamstring.
The Giants are better this year than last year and that’s in part because of how fun Pablo Sandoval has been this year. Because of what he did last year — hitting that walk-off home run to end the season — he’s the reason why the Giants might be fun for years to come, as Joey Bart might just inspire an entire generation to hit dingers. Dingers everywhere. Dingers all the damn time.
This is a real bummer, and following the elbow to the throat that was Johnny Cueto needing Tommy John surgery, it’s a real kick to the groin. The Giants will press on, but it’ll be a lot less fun than ever before.