The San Francisco Giants wrapped up their second National League West championship in three years with a 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. And while that team accomplishment certainly deserves top billing, there's just one play in the clinching victory that everyone is still talking about afterwards.
That play belongs to the 'Kung Fu Panda' Pablo Sandoval, and it happened in the fourth inning when Padres rookie Yonder Alonso skied a high popup along the third base side. That sent Sandoval scrambling in pursuit from his third base position and ultimately led to him tumbling over the railing of a party suite set up at the far end of the Giants dugout just as he put the squeeze on the baseball.
Panda down. Panda down. And incredibly, Panda managed to hold on to the baseball even after flipping over the railing and landing in the laps of several bundled up fans.
[Related: Reds claim NL Central]
It was memorable play, even without the circumstances of the game surrounding it. But I'm guessing it'll now become a legendary play in San Francisco because of those circumstances.
Oh, and also because of his uncanny ability to blow bubbles while making ridiculous plays.
Not only did Pablo Sandoval flip over the railing while making a catch, he simultaneously was blowing a bubble. #stylepoints
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) September 23, 2012
Style points indeed for Sandoval. And style points for all of the Giants as they joined the Cincinnati Reds as division clinchers on Saturday. In fact, if not for that Reds 6-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants champagne would have gone on ice for at least one more day. But as it is, the Giants did get to celebrate, and it appears they didn't forget how after missing the playoffs all together following their World Championship season in 2010.
From Yahoo! Sports:
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