DETROIT -- After a regular season rife with inconsistency, Pablo Sandoval has experienced few downs this postseason.
The Giants third basemans postseason assault of opposing pitchers continued with two more hits on Saturday in a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the World Series. Sandoval singled and doubled in four at-bats to raise his average in the World Series to .636 as the Giants are now within a victory of their second World Series title in three seasons.
Sandovals two hits also increased his 2012 postseason total to 23, which moves him past former first baseman J.T. Snow for the most in a single postseason in franchise history. Snow rapped out 22 hits in 2002 for the National League pennant-winning Giants.
Sandoval believes he has had success -- hes 23-for-61 (.377) with five doubles, six home runs and 13 RBIs in 15 postseason games -- because his hands are finally back at full strength. The slugger missed 53 games this season, including 35 after he suffered a left hamate fracture on May 2.
Ive been feeling great, Sandoval said. I was struggling during the season, up and down. My surgery, I lost the strength in my hand muscles. I think this is the time Im getting my strength back. All the work Ive been putting in during the season Ive been seeing the results right now.
Has he ever.
Sandoval didnt just pass Snow on Saturday, he also moved within two hits of the all-time major league record for hits in a postseason shared by David Freese (2011), Darrin Erstad (2002) and Marquis Grissom (1995).
Shortstop Brandon Crawford has seen the difference in Sandovals hand strength and agrees it has keyed his success.
Hes been looking real good, Crawford said. Hes been using his hands a lot. When hes doing that, hes tough to get out. Even a guy like (Anibal) Sanchez who is going to keep you off-balance, hes still going to get his hands up there and get a barrel on some of them.
Dan Hayes is the White Sox Insider for CSNChicago.com