The story tonight was Pablo Sandoval, who became the first Giant to hit for the cycle since Fred Lewis. Via Baggs, it’s the tenth in San Francisco Giants history (25th in franchise history), and he’s just the second player to do it this season (joining George Kottaras of the Milwaukee Brewers). Sandoval’s been very hot lately — he was riding an eight-game hitting streak until yesterday, and he picked things right back up again tonight. Overall, he’s got 17 hits in his last 38 at-bats with nine of them going for extra bases. To re-affirm what I said the other day about his supposed weight gain: I’m not too concerned.
While we’re on the subject of unlikely occurrences, the Giants scored eight runs. Again. This is the third time in the last five games. According to STATS LLC, they had reached the eight-run mark three times in their previous 89 games.
Unsurprsingly, this new-found (and hopefully not short-lived) ability to score runs has yielded success for the Giants of late: they’ve got a five-game win streak going, and have worked their way up to six games back in the wild card race, and seven games back in the NL West. They have just 12 games left, so all they can do at this point is keep winning games and hope Atlanta or Arizona has some kind of massive collapse. In any event, it’s awesome to see this team playing well.
Lastly — while we’re on the topic of awesome things, here are my obligatory short daily musings on Brandon Belt: it’s very nice to see him knock one out — even if it took him five at-bats (including two strikeouts). This is why I want to see him in the lineup every day. The Giants really have nothing to lose putting him out there, and these are valuable at-bats. If he’s getting playing time on a daily basis, hopefully he’ll get a chance to work through his struggles…because when he does overcome them, he’s going to be doing special things with the bat. We’ve seen glimpses of that, and tonight’s home run off Matt Reynolds was just an example.