Leading Off: S.F. was unable to fill Pagan's Giant void
08/19/2013 12:00 AM
10/08/2014 10:46 AM
Angel Pagan is no Buster Posey, let's make that clear.
When Posey went down with that horrific leg and ankle injury in 2011, the Giants' chance of defending their 2010 World Series title was all but crushed.
There is no winning a championship without Posey.
And apparently, there is no winning without Pagan.
Exactly two years to the day Posey suffered a broken left fibula and severely strained ankle ligaments – May 25 – Pagan suffered a hamstring injury in a game in which he hit a walk-off, inside-the-park home run to beat Colorado 6-5 in 10 innings.
After spending time on the disabled list, Pagan tore the hamstring during a minor-league rehab assignment in late June and underwent surgery.
The Giants would only hold the National League West lead for one more day after Pagan's last game, and haven't regained it since.
The Giants were tied with Arizona at 28-22. In 46 games, Pagan hit .262 with a combined on-base and slugging percentage of .688. He scored 30 runs.
Without Pagan the Giants are 28-46 (55-68 overall) and in last place. Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres have split most of the starts as the leadoff hitter, combining to hit .236 and score 32 runs.
It's unlikely that Pagan, who has started playing in Giants rookie-league games in Arizona, would have made a difference in what has been a frustrating season.
But it would have been interesting to know what might have been if Pagan had remained healthy and in the lineup.
Although it's hard to tell Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds in the past six weeks as reported by Comcast Sports Bay Area, you can begin to see signs of a more mobile Panda at the batter's box.
In his past five games, Sandoval has 10 hits and three runs. Before that, it took 17 games for Sandoval to collect 10 hits and 13 games to score three runs.
What to watch
Baseball, Giants vs. Red Sox, 7:15 p.m., Ch. 31: Dustin Pedroia, the little kid from Woodland who has made it big in Boston, plays a rare game at AT&T Park.
Was Angel Pagan's injury the doom of the Giants' season?
Yes, they're better with him.
No, his absence doesn't matter.
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
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Will you watch Fox Sports 1, a new 24-hour sports network?
Yes, the more the better: 35%
No, don't need it: 28%
I'll take a look: 37%
Total votes: 260
Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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