SAN FRANCISCO — Tony Bennett didn't sing in China Basin on Saturday.
It's nice to hear Tony croon "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" after every Giants home win, a lovely tradition at AT&T Park, Tony with his raspy meticulous understated voice putting all that emotion into it.
No Tony for the Giants after the Rockies beat them 1-0.
The crisis moment of the game, the moment the Giants could have won, happened in the bottom of the eighth.
Pablo Sandoval came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs against reliever Rex Brothers, who was having trouble locating the plate. His ball was darting to all the wrong places and this was the Giants' chance.
With two strikes, Sandoval lunged for a low outside changeup — clearly a ball — and swung an awkward swing and missed the ball and the Giants' opportunity vanished.
Right now, Sandoval's batting average is .152. When a man bats that low, that subterranean, he usually gets a one-way Greyhound ticket to Minor-Leagueville.
No one expects Sandoval to make a quick jaunt to Triple-A. But it's hard not to notice one thing.
This is his contract year.
He needs to do well, to show he's the real thing so he can earn the get-set-for-life contract ballplayers crave, the Barry Zito contract or something like that. Sandoval's lot is particularly thorny because of his weighty weight issues and because he's not fielding or hitting well.
Before play on Saturday, he had the third-worst fielding percentage of National League third basemen. He contributed to the bad percentage on Thursday against Arizona when he fielded a grounder with men on first and second and unwisely threw to first — he should have held the ball. The throw was bad and the tying run scored and the Giants lost in extra innings.
He sure looked like a man who's pressing and, in case you don't know the lingo, pressing means trying too hard, putting pressure on yourself. If Sandoval is pressing, it's because he's on a contract drive.
Before Saturday's game, manager Bruce Bochy addressed the issue of Panda pressing: "The one thing you don't want Pablo to do is get away from playing the game the way he normally plays it — and that's with a lot of passion, enthusiasm," Bochy said.
"Thinking about the contract, money, it can be a distraction. He assured me it's not. He's going to let his agent handle that, and he's got to take care of business on the field. You've got to be who you are. That's a great quality of his is how he plays the game and how he loves to play. It's never been for money, for the wallet, and you certainly don't want that happening now with him."
Well, maybe he doesn't care about the wallet and maybe he does.
Sandoval sure didn't look like he was pressing in the bottom of the fourth. He led off the inning with a double to left-center that skidded past centerfielder Charlie Blackmon, but Michael Morse came up with men on first and second and no one out and hit into a double play. It was a bad at-bat and pretty much killed the threat. On the day, Morse got no hits and struck out twice.