Sandoval, in his 11th major league season, had never pitched. The Giants hadn’t used a position player on the mound since Greg Litton pitched the ninth inning of their 14-6 loss to the Houston Astros at Candlestick Park on July 4, 1991. For reference, Sandoval would have been 4 years old.
But the “Kung Fu Panda,” who had already played eight innings at third base, dazzled on the hill.
It took him two pitches to get Max Muncy to bounce out to second, and then Sandoval started dealing. (And the Internet, thank goodness, started GIF-making.)
Check out this filth: a 69-mph curveball to Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal eventually grounded out into Evan Longoria’s shift at third base. Peep the location on the 86-mph fastball.
Then, up came Chris Taylor, and Sandoval kept throwing junk. Look at this sequence, courtesy of Rob Friedman, the “Pitching Ninja.” Sandoval spots a fastball low and away, then fools Taylor with a 70-mph curveball to the same spot.
There is a word for this in baseball. That word is “nasty.”
In all, it took Sandoval 11 pitches — eight for strikes — to get through Muncy, Grandal (who was a pinch hitter) and Taylor, the leadoff man.