World Series Game 1: Zito, Sandoval Help Giants Dominate Opener

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By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

At the beginning of the 2012 MLB season, everyone was talking about the Detroit Tigers’
monster free agent pickup Prince Fielder and their new offense. Last night, in Game 1 of the
2012 World Series, the players worth talking about were San Francisco Giants.

The 2010 World Series champions defeated the Tigers by a score of 8-3, with most of their
offense coming from Pablo Sandoval and his three home runs. That’s right; the Kung Fu Panda
his three dingers despite the Tigers starting their ace Justin Verlander on the bump.

“When you’re a little kid, you dream about being in the World Series. But I wasn’t thinking
about being in this situation, three homers in one game,” Sandoval told Andrew Keh of The New
York Times.

The Giants infielder joins the elite few to ever hit that many homers in a World Series game. The
others who have achieved the feat? Albert Pujols, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth.

A truly historic accomplishment for Sandoval that two of the home runs came against arguably
the best pitcher in all of baseball in Verlander. The current American League MVP and Cy
Young Winner was lit up for five earned runs in just four innings of work in the series’ first
game.

After the defeat, Verlander explained to the media surrounding his locker that he felt “out of
synch,” during his outing, following that statement by saying: “if I could tell you what it is, I
would have fixed it immediately.”

While it may not have been his best performance of the postseason, Verlander and the Tigers
pitchers received little help from their offense. They were too busy being shut down not by
Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong or Matt Cain, but the resurgent Barry Zito.

If you were on Twitter during the game, you couldn’t avoid seeing his name on your timeline or
the hashtag “RallyZito” which has become a postseason favorite for many baseball fans.

As Zito explained during his post-game press conference, he was fighting for his spot on the
playoff roster just a month ago and now he’s one of the early heroes of this World Series.

The Oakland Athletic got the best of the Tigers offense, allowing just one earned run over 5.2
innings with three strikeouts on the night. Zito didn’t accomplish that stat line by building off his
Oct. 19 performance against St. Louis earlier this postseason however. He did just the opposite.

“When we’re nice and calm, we always play our best baseball…when you start kind of buying
into all the hype and everything; you lose yourself a little bit… I was just very adamant on
keeping everything slow pretty much from when I got up today,” Zito told Janie McCauley of
the Associated Press (Via ABC News)

With Zito cool and collected on the mound and Sandoval’s 4-4 night at the plate, the Giants took
Game 1 of this series in dramatic fashion.


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