The San Francisco Giants took Game 1 in historic fashion Wednesday night, with Pablo Sandoval becoming just the fourth player ever to hit three home runs in a single World Series game. As is if the feat alone weren't enough, Sandoval launched two of his three home runs off of the best pitcher in baseball, Justin Verlander, knocking the Tigers' ace out of the game after just four innings of work.
Pablo's big night wasn't the only surprise performance of the night for Giants, as Barry Zito continued his stretch of shutdown pitching, holding the potent Tigers' offense to a single run in 5⅔ innings. Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles knows that it was just one game, and that tougher times are likely ahead, but all its pleasant surprises made Game 1 a joy to watch:
It was the best pitcher alive going against the pitcher Giants fans have muttered as an epithet for six seasons. It was the guy who played his way out of the last World Series having an all-time, historic monster of a game. It was the best pitcher alive giving up an RBI single to a pitcher who holds a bat like it's covered in millipedes. It was Gregor Blanco diving and diving again, and it was Delmon Young looking like Vladimir Guerrero with a hernia. It was Tim Lincecum, perfect in relief.
Everything about that game was fantastically silly.
Barry Zito out-dueled Justin Verlander, and Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs.
In the end, it was just one game. I remember being bummed about Game 1 in both the NLDS and NLCS, and both of those turned out quite alright. The Giants still have to win three out of their next six games, which isn't exactly fait accompli. It's one game.
But it was a hell of a game.
The first pitch of Game 2 is set for 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX.