Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Panda Reigns in Game One

Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols have hit three home runs in a World Series game. Add Pablo Sandoval to the list. The Panda took Justin Verlander deep twice, then pounded a 422-footer off Al Alburquerque for good measure and made history. It was a jaw-dropping performance of hitting prowess against the best in the game. Verlander had not surrendered an 0-2 homer all season. The Tigers came into the contest, on paper, with a power advantage over the Giants: power bats in the lineup and power pitchers on the hill. But the Giants countered with a sharp and effective Barry Zito, who put up a string of zeroes with a quiver full of Uncle Charlies and his trademark 84-mph fastball. They followed him up with a dominating Tim Lincecum to snuff out any threat of a comeback. The Tiger lineup managed to pester George Kontos a bit (Angel Pagan missed it by an inch), but otherwise it was all Giants. They flashed some serious leather, too, but we've come to expect that. Defense is a big part of San Francisco baseball. Gregor Blanco looked overmatched at the plate, but his two catches in left probably saved two runs. Marco Scutaro, no surprise, had two hits, two runs, and two RBIs. A great start by Zeets and a nice piece of hitting as well, awesome relief by Big Time Timmy Jim, and good work by all the hitters to run up the pitch count on Verlander and chase him early.

It was an epic night for the orange-and-black on both sides of the ball. And it was even more epic for the popular third baseman who put himself in select company with an extraordinary display of baseball skill and no less a flair for the dramatic. Congratulations, Panda! And way to go, Giants! Keep it rolling! Three more wins!




nomisnala said...

Stay thirsty my friends.

Shankbone said...

That'll do, Panda. That'll do.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Barry Zito got an RBI hit off Justin Verlander.

Say that to yourself over and over again today.

Ron said...

The early morning guys on KNBR have dubbed Lincecum's new role as that of a 'Pen Ninja. I like it. He was tough.

And, Zito was super-tough, especially with the aid of 2 spectacular plays by Blanco.

I also like that Buster showed signs of waking up with one smashed hit to LF (off of Verlander), & one trademark RBI flare to RF. If Buster is going to start driving in runs, that's great!

Pagan had two 2B's (always nice). Sure it was a cheap 2B on that ball that hit 3B, but they would have never thrown him out anyway, so it would have been a hit. He would have stolen 2B, resulting in the same RBI hit for Scutaro (what an AB).

Panda & Scutaro have carried a heavy load. If Pence would stop swinging at pitches a mile outside, our top 5 would be really formidable. Throw in Belt & his recent good AB's, & you have some serious offense.

Russian River said...

Is Hunter Pence 2012s Pat Burrell? Could he take worse swings? That's my ONLY complaint emanating from last nights dismantling of the Tigers. Sure, every ESPN talking head crowned Justin Verlander as untouchable, un-hittable and the heir apparent. The Giant's would have no chance against him. Too bad, so sad that the Panda ruined his coming out party in San Francisco. One win in the books lads. Go Giants!

Ron said...

From El Lefty Malo's post today:

"22. That's the number of pitches [Pagan] saw from Verlander. Six pitches in the first before grounding out, eight more in the third before his chopper to third hit the bag and trickled into left field and started a three run, two out rally. Then he forced eight more pitches in the fifth, when Verlander was about to exit and the game was already in hand. Pagan did nothing more than hit three ground balls, one extremely well placed, but with his work in the first inning plus Sandoval's home run, the theme was set."

That is some serious pitch count work. And, Scutaro made him throw a bunch of pitches, too. I know that it's Verlander & that, supposedly, he can throw 150 in a game, etc., but, he obviously can't throw 25 per inning for very long.

Congratulations to the Giants for making 'the best Pitcher on the planet' (how many times did we hear the FOX / MLB Network people say that during the NLCS?) have to face his mortality.

Zo said...

Beating Verlander was huge. We can win this thing.

Brother Bob said...

This is the stuff of legends. What Sandoval and Zito did yesterday is almost unbelievable in the context of their staus two years ago. Sandoval was a bit player in the previous WS, he had played his way onto the bench. Zito was not even on the roster, that's how bad he was, and I remain convinced that leaving him out then was crucial to our success.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Pitching, defense, and little ball. What a great win tonight! Can you believe the Giants are up 2-0?? Fantastic!! Vogelsong and Cain Saturday and Sunday--that combo worked well for Games 6 and 7 in the LCS, so I'm hoping for big things. And I think Hunter Pence and Buster Posey will be the hitting stars.

C'mon, Giants!!