It’s April, and it’s already Splash Hit season.
Pablo Sandoval launched the first Splash Hit of 2018 when he launched Felix Hernandez’s final pitch on Wednesday for a three-run home run into McCovey Cove.
The Panda even called it. Sort of.
“I ain’t gonna lie. He called it,” Andrew McCutchen said. “He said he was going to hit a homer today.”
It marked the first April Splash Hit since Brandon Crawford hit one on April 13, 2014, and only the second April Splash Hit since 2008.
Of the 77 Splash Hits, it was only the 11th in April.
It was the earliest Splash Hit by date, and the second earliest by schedule.
Barry Bonds had a Splash Hit in the Giants’ home opener in 2004. He also hit one in Game 2 in 2004, but that was in the seventh inning, so The Panda’s officially becomes the second earliest.
The Splash Hit also was Sandoval’s eighth Splash Hit, moving him into sole possession of second place in the Splash Hit list. It was his first Splash Hit since May 12, 2013. He, of course, spent 2015, 2016 and most of 2017 with the Red Sox. The nearly five-year gap between Splash Hits is the longest gap between Splash Hits by one player.
Of course, Bonds tops the list with 35, then comes Sandoval with eight and Brandon Belt with seven. Denard Span is the only other Giant with more than two. Span hit five and accounted for the last three Splash Hits.
EARLY SPLASH HITS
- Barry Bonds 2004, Game 1
- Pablo Sandoval 2018, Game 2 (fifth inning)
- Barry Bonds 2004, Game 2 (seventh inning)
- Barry Bonds 2001, Game 4
- Michael Tucker 2005, Game 5
- Brandon Crawford 2014, Game 6