Who saw that one coming? Not me, that’s for sure!
Pablo “Panda” Sandoval became the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit three home runs in a single World Series game, and San Francisco won the opener last night, 8-3. He joined Babe Ruth (who did it twice), Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols. That’s three upper-echelon Hall Of Famers (well, Pujols will be one when he retires).
Amazingly, he hit two homers off Tigers ace Justin Verlander. If you were watching, the first one was absolutely mind-blowing – Sandoval took a nearly neck-high fastball at 95+ mph and launched it to center field. It was a pitch he shouldn’t have even swung at, let alone make contact with.
Tonight in Game Two (5:07 PM, Fox), former Rainiers right-hander Doug Fister makes the most important start of his career. The Tigers need a quality outing from Fister to get a win tonight and move the series to Detroit with a 1-1 tie.
With the ace Verlander failing to win his first start, there is added pressure on the other members of the Tigers rotation. Here’s hoping Fister steps up and get it done tonight.*
The Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner, who was one of their top starters this season – until the stretch run, when he reportedly suffered a loss of velocity leading some to speculate he might be injured. However, the Giants decided to give him this start over Tim Lincecum, who they used out of the bullpen last night. I suspect Giants fans are quite nervous about Bumgarner this evening.
- The Game One news story in the Seattle Times includes a box score, and it also describes the star as a “roly-poly happy specimen.”
- Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron breaks down exactly how Justin Verlander got lit up.
- At Grantland, Jonah Keri has a nice rundown of Game One, with numerous insightful notes.
- The Mariners said goodbye to catcher Miguel Olivo and utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki. Look for the M’s to bring in a veteran catcher with MLB experience on a Triple-A contract.
- From a website my life’s goal is to never have my name appear on, we find out that Tim McCarver‘s strange Barry Manilow reference wasn’t actually totally off-base.
- Quick reminder: time is running out if you want to enter the contest to have Rainiers mascot Rhubarb The Reindeer trick-or-treat with your kids. All of the information is right here.
Game Two tonight!
* pro tip for baseball fans with no rooting interest in the World Series: always root for seven games!