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Pablo Sandoval sets new Giants record by going hitless over 38 consecutive at-bats

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Pablo Sandoval‘s reunion with the Giants hasn’t gone as either side expected. Sandoval was cast off after a tumultuous and unproductive tenure with the Red Sox and returned to San Francisco, the team with which he won three World Series and garnered an enthusiastic fan base. Unfortunately, he’s hit even worse with the Giants (.505 OPS) than he did with the Red Sox (.622).

Even worse, Sandoval entered Wednesday night’s game against the Rockies hitless in his last 37 at-bats. With one more hitless at-bat, he’d set a new Giants record. Sandoval pinch-hit for starter Johnny Cueto to lead off the top of the sixth and was called out on strikes against reliever Jeff Hoffman, making him the official record-holder. Sandoval’s last hit came on August 25 when he singled against Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke in the fifth inning.

Sandoval’s overall stats on the season aren’t pretty. Between both teams, he’s slashing .199/.257/.303 with five home runs, 16 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 218 plate appearances. At -1.0 WAR, according to FanGraphs, only five players have been less productive (min. 200 PA): Albert Pujols (-1.5), Carlos Gonzalez (-1.2), Trevor Plouffe (-1.2), Tommy Joseph (-1.1), and Victor Martinez (-1.1). Yikes.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.