Get this: It was the first three homer game at the stadium originally known as Pac Bell Park since the very first one, when Kevin Elster did it for the Dodgers in 2000. Nope, not even home run king Barry Bonds had done this.
Pablo Sandoval's 3 HRs lead Giants past Cardinals in World Series Nike Football Shoes Astro opener
Verlander, the reigning Cy Young winner so dominant in this postseason, looked uncomfortable from the get go and constantly pawed at the mound.
NL championship series MVP Marco Scutaro hit RBI singles after doubles by Angel Pagan. NL batting champion Buster Posey contributed two hits and left fielder Gregor Blanco made diving catches to rob Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
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Lincecum, meanwhile, retired seven straight batters and struck out five of them. The two time Cy Young winner has embraced his new role in the bullpen.
A rollicking AT Park crowd a sea of black and orange outfits roared as Sandoval connected in his first three at bats. Popular in the Bay Area as the Kung Fu Panda for his roly poly shape, he went 4 for 4 and drove in four runs. A Giant panda for sure.
It was certainly a moment of retribution of Sandoval. He was benched during the 2010 World Series, his production and confidence down, his weight up. In the Football Cleats Cover
For good measure, Sandoval lined a single his last time up.
[View the story "Did Pablo Sandoval really just start 3 for 3 with 3 HRs in World Series Game 1?" on Storify]
NOTES: Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings was the only other player this year to homer twice in a game off Verlander. . Willie Mays and fellow Giants Hall of Famers Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry took part in the first ball ceremony. . Tigers great Al Kaline, now a team executive, watched Detroit take batting practice from behind the cage. . The Game 1 winner has won eight of the last nine championships. . Cabrera and Posey marked the first set of batting champs to face each other in the World Series since 1954 when it was Mays of the New York Giants and Bobby Avila of Cleveland. When Cabrera walked on a close full Nike Football Flat Shoes
Ever since two poor outings in the 2006 Series against St. Louis punctuated by two throwing errors Verlander has worked hard to harness his emotions and 100 mph in the early going.
Sandoval hit three home runs and joined Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only sluggers to do it in the Series, and the Giants jolted Justin Verlander the Detroit Tigers 8 3 on Wednesday night in Game 1.
Pitching in San Francisco for the first time since 2008, Verlander scuffed at the rubber while warming up for the first inning, pulled off his glove after badly overthrowing a curve and kept taking deep breaths. He hardly resembled the guy who was 3 0 with an 0.74 ERA in three playoff starts this year.
The Tigers seemed out of sync in their first game following a five game layoff. That was an issue in 2006, too, when Verlander and his teammates had nearly a week off before getting wiped out by the Cardinals.
Verlander got into trouble again the third, and pitching coach Jeff Jones strolled to the mound when the count went to 2 0 on Sandoval. Verlander stared at Jones and shook his head. On the next pitch, Verlander could do little but watch the ball sail into the front row in left.
Sandoval for a solo shot in the first inning, Verlander could only mouth 'Wow!' after the Giants star launched a two run drive in the third. Sandoval reprised his power show from this year's All Star game, when his bases loaded triple highlighted a five run first inning against Verlander.
ALCS MVP Delmon Young failed to run after a tapper in front of the plate that the Giants turned into a double play. The Giants, meanwhile, kept getting good bounces, with Pagan hitting a double that hopped off the third base bag.
SAN FRANCISCO With three mighty swings, Pablo Sandoval put the San Francisco Giants ahead in this World Series and put himself in a class with Mr. October.
stands on this night, fans wearing furry panda hats celebrated with him.
Jhonny Peralta hit a two run homer for the Tigers in the ninth off mop up reliever George Kontos.
To some, this looked somewhat similar to the 2010 Series opener. That day, the Giants beat up the supposedly unhittable Cliff Lee on their way to a five game romp over Texas.
The festive crowd stood and applauded when it was announced that Verlander was being pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth. Sandoval gave them another reason to get up moments later when he hit a solo homer off reliever Al Alburquerque in the fifth, answering the cheers by waving his batting helmet in a curtain call.
Pujols homered three times last year, Jackson accomplished the feat in 1977 and Ruth did it in 1926 and again in 1928.
From start to finish, it was basically a perfect game by the Giants. Coming off a Game 7 win over St. Louis on Monday night, they looked totally fresh.
Verlander was trying to settle in when Sandoval tagged him, pouncing on an 0 2 fastball and lining it into the front row over the center field wall. Quite a start for the team that finished last in the majors in home runs.
And if there was any doubt that Verlander was shaky, the best sign came in the fourth. That's when pitcher Barry Zito, a career .099 hitter, sliced an RBI single with two outs off the current AL MVP for a 6 0 lead.
This how got it bad for the Tigers: Former closer Jose Valverde made his first appearance in 11 days. Leyland still isn't what he'll get from the struggling reliever.
The final score raised a nagging question for manager Jim Leyland and his favored Tigers: Did too much rest after a playoff sweep of the Yankees mean too much rust?
Zito shut out the Tigers until Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Tim Lincecum came out of the bullpen to prevent further damage.
Game 2 is Thursday night, with Doug Fister starting for the Tigers against Madison Bumgarner.
count pitch, he playfully patted the Giants' All Star catcher on his way to first base. . Tigers bullpen catcher Jeff Kunkel wandered the stands well before the teams took the field for warmups, snapping pictures of the stadium and field with his cell phone. . The Giants franchise played its 106th Series game, trailing only the Yankees (225) and Cardinals (112). The Dodgers are fourth with 105.
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