web analytics

Pablo hits walk-off home run to close Giants’ season, Cain’s career

Trending Articles

       
       
   
   
Pablo Sandoval, seen here on September 20, 2017, walked the Giants off in Sunday’s finale. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

AT&T PARK — Just before Matt Cain took the microphone to say goodbye to the only major league team he’s known, his longtime colleague, Pablo Sandoval, stepped to the plate and put a walk-off home run in the arcade that sits atop the right-field archways.

Sandoval’s game-winning drive secured the 5-4 win and provided an indelible ending to what has been a forgettable season for the San Francisco Giants.

“It brought back good memories — I’m not going to lie — when he hit that ball,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

Sandoval, who doesn’t know if he’ll be back next season, admitted the moment produced mixed emotions.

“Especially when I was running the bases, I wanted to cry,” Sandoval said. “I don’t know what’s going on with me next year, so I’m just focused to work hard in the offseason and come back stronger and doing everything I can.”

Sunday’s matinee against the San Diego Padres also marked what could be the final game in orange and black for Johnny Cueto, who can opt out this offseason.

In the finale, Cueto surrendered 12 hits in his five innings, allowing four runs and striking out a pair of Padres.

“It was kind of the story of Johnny’s season,” Bochy said. “He battled. [He had a] rough start, gave up two [runs] the first inning — five hits. Gives up another two hits the next inning but he keep us in the game, competed well [and] battled without his best stuff.”

Asked about his season at large, the starter, who had struck a nonchalant note throughout the afternoon, offered an elusive reply.

“I mean, it was a difficult year…We tried. My teammates [and I] didn’t win like we wanted to,” Cueto said via translator Erwin Higueros. “Also, you add the fact that I had issues with my dad. He wasn’t feeling well.”

“I mean, I will continue doing the same thing, getting myself mentally ready and physically ready and just show up next year ready to win.”

When asked if his reply meant he’s returning to the Giants, Cueto continued to dodge.

“I don’t know maybe,” Cueto said. “I mean, I’m sure I will.”

To this point, he’s yet to reveal his plans to the club.

“No. I haven’t,” Cueto said. “That will come soon, but I haven’t talked to them yet.”

Cain takes his leave

In the wake of Sandoval’s blast, Cain, surrounded by his teammates and family, took the microphone to bid adieu to the AT&T crowd. Before Cain spoke, CEO Larry Baer, Bochy and Buster Posey all took their turn sending off the three-time champ.

No ‘sugar coating’ it

Losers of 98, the Giants know a daunting offseason awaits.

“We have some work to do. There’s no sugar coating this,” Bochy said. “You lose 98 games, you have some things to fix. Forget the injuries, whatever, but I think you look at the numbers on both sides, we’ve got to get better — especially in our division.”

“We’ve got a lot to work to do,” Bochy added. “And, as I’ve said, we’ll be relentless with this work to get back on track.

Pence exits early

Hunter Pence left the game early after making a tumbling grab in the top of the seventh.

“He’s got a little time to now to rest. He’s off tomorrow,” the manager joked.

Not Pablo’s call

Following his game-winning homer, Sandoval made it clear where he wants to play in 2018 and beyond.

“It’s not my decision,” Sandoval said. “I want to be here for the rest of my career. I want to be like Cain.”

Click here or scroll down to comment

       
       
   
   

In Other News