A week ago it was announced that Pablo Sandoval needed Tommy John surgery, seemingly ending his season. And it did end it for all practical purposes. Yesterday, however, the Giants — with an assist from the expanded September roster — made an exception for him for a good reason.
The team activated the injured Sandoval so he could make one last at bat. A last at bat for his longtime manager Bruce Bochy and, possibly, his last at bat, ever, as a San Francisco Giant.
The crowd gave Sandoval a lengthy standing ovation when he came on to the on-deck circle in the seventh inning and continued to cheer him as he was announced as a pinch hitter. He only saw two pitches: first a called strike and then a fastball with which he made contact, hitting a slow tapper to short:
Sandoval on the experience:
Just one of those moments you don’t want to forget. I didn’t get the result I wanted, but I got the best result, the love from the fans.
Bochy, on what he said as he greeted Sandoval when he returned to the dugout:
I said, ‘It’s been a joy.’ Obviously we were hoping to get a base hit there, but I think he saw how much he’s loved here with the crowd. What a great ovation they gave him.
He deserved that and a lot more. Everything he’s done for this organization is unbelievable, just how clutch he’s been. Pablo’s a top-notch guy and a great teammate.
Nice gesture by the Giants, for sure.