San Francisco was down 15-6 in the top of the ninth inning, and already saw four pitchers combine for 204 pitches in eight innings. Since this was the first game of a doubleheader, wanting to save the bullpen somewhat for the second game, Bruce Bochy turned to Sandoval for the final inning.
Sandoval worked like he was double parked, with a pace so fast he likely had commissioner Rob Manfred salivating in New York.
Sandoval got Max Muncy to ground out, then did the same to Yasmani Grandal, but not before dropping this beautiful curve:
Pablo dropped a 69 mph curveball in there for a strike. pic.twitter.com/ExCccyC6Q7— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 28, 2018
Sandoval, the first Giants position player to pitch since 1991, completed his inning with another ground out, this time by Chris Taylor, who homered and had three hits against real Giants pitchers.
Pablo Sandoval has more 3 up, 3 down innings pitched this year than Kenley Jansen.— Ryan Parker (@RA_Parker) April 28, 2018
Sandoval is the first Giants position player with a scoreless pitching appearance since Matty Alou in 1965.
All that earned Sandoval a pair of ovations from the Giants crowd, once as he walked off the mound and again when he came to bat in the bottom of the inning. It was well deserved.
Bochy said he chose Pablo because "he can throw right or left depending on who is hitting." (That's true.) "I knew he had a pretty good delivery. I didn't know it was quite this clean."— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 29, 2018
Take that, Shohei Ohtani.