San Francisco Giants

How Pablo Sandoval made Giants fans cheer wildly in a 15-6 loss to the Dodgers

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Saturday, April 28, 2018.
San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Saturday, April 28, 2018. AP Photo

Somehow, the 15-6 rout by the Dodgers over the Giants at AT&T Park afternoon — the first of a day-night doubleheader — managed to give San Francisco fans and players plenty to smile about by its conclusion.

Not only did a position player come in to pitch for the Giants, not only was that position player Pablo Sandoval, but indeed, Sandoval pitched a perfect inning, retiring the Dodgers in order in the top of the ninth. It was the only 1-2-3 inning in the game for Los Angeles.

The Giants' larger-than-average third baseman, affectionately nicknamed "the Panda," induced three groundouts, prompting riotous cheers from the home crowd.

"We have an interesting turn of events," play-by-play TV broadcaster Duane Kuiper said as Sandoval took the mound.

"Not a bad (pitching) motion," said Kuiper's partner, Mike Krukow, a former big-league pitcher. Sandoval mixed in a "good curveball" with mid-80s fastballs.

Many fans and even beat writers on Twitter agreed: Sandoval looked pretty good on the mound. Here's some of what they chimed in with.

For those unfamiliar, position players only take the mound in blowouts — usually in defeat, but occasionally in wins— in which the outcome is already decided, so that the bullpen arms can get some rest. Rest was much needed after giving up 15 runs in eight innings.

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