Thursday, October 25, 2012

0 Reaction to Game 1

By Kenny Howell

Game 1 of the World Series had everything that was great about postseason baseball, mostly because the Giants totally flipped the script.

Going into the game, everyone thought it was a foregone conclusion that Justin Verlander, the best pitcher in baseball, boyfriend to Kate Upton, was going to shut down the Giants, and San Francisco would just have to wait to Game 2 to catch up. And yes I mentioned Kate Upton to drive up internet traffic. I am shameless that way. Kate Upton. Kate Upton. Kate Upton. 

Then came Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval, to the plate. Most people wouldn't have hit those pitches for home runs because, as Deadspin pointed out this morning, those weren't pitches that you swing for the fences. A 95-mph chest high fastball, a 95-mph fastball at the knees on the outside part of the plate, and a breaking ball that was way out of the zone. All for home runs.

Add to that, Marco Scutaro continues to rake it, stretching his playoff hitting streak to 11 games, and getting two RBI singles.

Then on the mound you have Barry Zito. Zito was left off the playoff roster two years ago when the Giants won the World Series, but he is making the most of his appearances this time. The former Cy Young winner went 5.2, and only allowed one run to the Tigers big lineup. He was then relieved by another Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum, who didn't allow a hit in 2.1 and struck out five of the seven batters he faced.

If you are the Tigers, what is your mindset now? You lost to a team with your best pitcher on the mound, and a guy who throws a mid 80s fastball pitching for the other team. You still have three more games in San Francisco with those crazy, orange towel wielding fans. You will get Verlander again in game 5 probably, but he may be pushed up to four if they are facing elimination. But as the Giants proved last night, it doesn't really matter.


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