Most. Valuable. Panda.
The San Francisco Giants completed their World Series sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night, and Pablo Sandoval was awarded the much-deserved MVP. It was an all-around dominant performance for San Fran, but it would have been nearly impossible to give the honor to anyone else.
Kung Fu Panda was nearly unstoppable during the last four games, going 8-for-16 with three home runs, four RBI and three runs scored.
Of course, all three home runs and all four RBI came in the Giants' Game 1 thrashing, but there's no overstating just how important that epic performance was. Sandoval joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players in history to hit three homers in a World Series game.
Not only that, but he established the tone for the entire season and drove Justin Verlander, Detroit's ace and likely Cy Young winner, out of the game. It's easy to say now, but Sandoval really put the Tigers away with three swings of the bat.
Of course, eight hits in four games, which capped off a 24-hit, six-homer performance in the entire postseason, isn't too shabby, either.
In a series in which the Giants held the Tigers to just six runs in four games, you could understandably make a case for MVP for any pitcher. But no starter saw the mound more than once, and it would be difficult to justify giving the award to a reliever, although Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo were downright brilliant.
As far as hitters go, Hunter Pence had a good Series at the plate, and Buster Posey hit an important Game 4 home run—but neither came close to having the impact that Sandoval had.
The World Series MVP is just another notch in the 26-year-old's belt, as Sandoval continues to add to what appears will be a marvelous career.