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!