The circumstances surrounding Aoki's effort made his contributions even more impressive. He sat out Friday's game with the flu, marking only the third game he missed this season. And, as Aoki said through his interpreter, Kosuke Inaji, "You don't get better from the flu in one day."
For Aoki, the lingering effect of the illness may have been more emotional than physical. Being unable to play nagged him worse than any virus.
"I kind of let the team down yesterday," Aoki said. When a reporter mentioned that it's OK to get sick once in a while, Aoki acknowledged that, but added that his job demands his being available for the team. Thus, he concluded, "I wasn't able to do that up to my standards."
Nevertheless, many players would struggle to improve upon Aoki's productivity, on Saturday and overall this season. Giants second baseman Joe Panik, who usually bats behind Aoki, notices the anxiety the left fielder awakens among opposing pitchers when he reaches base.
"Because of his speed, he plays with the pitcher's mind a little bit," said Panik, who frequently sees pitchers miss their spots when Aoki gets aboard. "It makes such a difference."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.