Each week I post an Around the Foghorn article naming a San Francisco Giant as most valuable player for the previous week. I will be examining games from the previous Sunday through Saturday, looking for the one player who has had that standout week.
Pablo Sandoval batted .333 (7-21) for the week, with four home runs, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-1 record for the week, and a 31-18 overall record, the best in the major leagues.
Ryan Vogelsong pitched back-to-back quality starts, each of them a shutout. In leading the Giants last Sunday against the Miami Marlins, he went seven innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven. Saturday night against the Twins, he went six and two-thirds, giving up three hits and striking out seven.
Beginning this week I am selecting one player from the pitching ranks and one from the position players. In the instance that a starter should only appear once during the course of a week, and a position player every day, it makes sense to simply broaden my horizons.
Pablo is the obvious choice for this week, because his success is frequently measured in that which goes beyond the stats. It’s his ability to keep his attitude upbeat throughout the long, tortuous slump; it’s his ability to step up the very day following the huge loss of Brandon Belt; finally, it’s his ability to carry a team on his shoulders, if that’s what it takes.
Sandoval’s three-run shot in Friday’s opener against the Minnesota Twins, gave Tim Lincecum the lead he needed to be able to get through a rocky start, because he could afford to be more aggressive, and Pablo’s two RBI’s in Saturday’s games were all the Giants would get, as they slipped past the Twins, 2-1.
Ryan Vogelsong is back. He was such a dominant force in 2011 and 2012 that his injury last year was a major cause of last season’s collapse. Again, to have a number five starter in the rotation as savvy and motivated as Vogelsong, is one of the most effective tools the Giants have.
Vogelsong came through to help salvage the fourth game of the Marlins set, to keep the Giants from losing yet another series to the Fish. His victory over the Twins on Saturday, kept the momentum against the American League Central at full-throttle.
Both Sandoval and Vogelsong played vital roles in the 2012 playoffs and World Series victory. Both are on fire once again. Both are MVP-kind-of-guys, at least for this week.