In what is shaping up to be a lost year for the San Francisco Giants, veteran Pablo Sandoval has a chance to re-write the record books.
The San Francisco Giants fan base has been clamoring for Pablo Sandoval to get more playing time all season.
And why not?
The 32-year-old is hitting .292/.315/.640 with 10 doubles and seven home runs in just 92 plate appearances, and a strong case can be made that he is the best hitter on the team right now.
He was at it again on Tuesday night, delivering a clutch, pinch-hit single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to set up Joe Panik’s walk-off single.
While the case for more playing time is clear, there is also an interesting case against penciling him into the starting lineup on a more frequent basis.
HE COULD MAKE HISTORY!
That’s right, we’re going all caps. In what is quickly shaping up to be a lost season, what would be more exciting than a run at the record books?
After Tuesday night’s single, Sandoval now has 10 pinch hits on the season. No one else in the majors has more than six.
According to Baseball Almanac, the single-season record for pinch hits belongs to John Vander Wal, who tallied 28 for the Colorado Rockies during the 1995 season.
We’re less than two months into the 2019 campaign and it’s a six month season. It doesn’t take a math whiz to see that Sandoval is on pace for history.
So rather than finding more ways to get Sandoval everyday playing time, why not lean into his chase for pinch-hit history?
The Giants have as much experience as any organization in baseball with record-breaking seasons. No one is going to confuse 29 pinch hits with 73 home runs any time soon, but framing 2019 around Sandoval doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world from a marketing standpoint.
It’s not hard to picture the Oracle Park faithful rising to its feet once a game as he looks to pull ever closer to the record. It would be an event within the game, and a reason to cheer regardless of the outcome.
Make it happen, Giants.