If someone told you the Giants would rock Justin Verlander and that Pablo Sandoval would hit three homeruns in game one of the World Series, would you have believed them?
Of course, if you answered yes you are a liar, or a Giants fan. Either way, game one of this year’s World Series shocked everyone else in the sports world.
Pablo “Panda” Sandoval, a guy who hit just 12 homers during the regular year, went yard three times the Giants’ 8-3 over the Tigers and he hit two of them off arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander. Improbable? Sure, but as we learned last night, not impossible.
“Man, I still can’t believe it,” Sandoval said via ESPN.com.
Well, we can’t either.
Of course, the offensive outburst would have been more dramatic if it was actually a close game. Coming off one of his best outings in recent memory in the NLCS, Barry Zito carried over his mojo into last night’s start where he proceeded to shut down the Tigers, allowing just one run on six hits. I don’t know if we can him an ageless wonder just yet, but the 34 year-old lefty has definitely recaptured some of his old 2002-Cy-Young-winning-self in his last two starts.
Fortunately for the Tigers, it’s a best-of-seven series. And as far as I’m concerned, they will be the favorite in the pitching matchup once again as they send out Doug Fister to face Madison Bumgarner. Fister was just 10-10 during the regular season, but has been dominant in the postseason so far. In two starts, Fister is 1-0 and has given up just two earned runs in 13 and a third innings of work while striking out 13. Bumgarner, on the other hand, posted a stronger 16-11 regular season mark, but has struggled in his two postseason outings, failing to past the fifth inning in both. In eight innings, Bumgarner has surrendered 10 earned runs and only struck out six.
Bumgarner did perform well in the 2010 postseason, as he went 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four games and he pitch well against the Tigers last time the teams met in 2011, allowing just one run in seven and a third innings. However, I gotta go with the hotter pitcher and take the Tigers with Fister. I realize that the Giants’ hitters are hot and that they even got to Verlander, but a reasonable person such as myself, can’t expect that to continue. Fister shut down the A’s and the Yankees and he should be able to do the same against the Giants. I like Detroit in this game and you should too. Look for the Tigers to turn the tide in game two of the World Series tonight and even the score at 1-1.