Pablo Sandoval is back to doing what he does best: Swinging out of his shoes and sending balls into the stands.
Sandoval smashed his third pinch-hit home run Thursday for the Atlanta Braves, giving his team a 5-3 lead with a three-run shot to left field. The former Giants great has appeared in 10 games now, all as a pinch-hitter. He has three hits in eight at-bats, all which are homers.
That gives him a 1.500 slugging percentage with just three hits. The lesson? Swing for the fences, kids.
Sandoval's three pinch-hit homers in one calendar month is the most in Braves franchise history, and second-most in MLB history.
The record for pinch-hit homers in a season is seven. Sandoval almost is halfway there, and the first month of the season is just halfway over.
The Panda always has been a great weapon off the bench. He was with the Giants and has continued to be as a Brave.
For his career, Sandoval now is batting .307 off the bench with seven home runs and 17 doubles. He has a .573 career slugging percentage as a sub. Compare that to his .278 career batting average and .443 slugging percentage as a starter, it's clear why the Braves are using him as the ultimate slugger late in games.
He might not be the power threat or possible All-Star he once was with the Giants, but Sandoval still has a place in the big leagues and could be the difference in the playoffs.