Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kung-Fu Panda-monium

The Giants took a 1-0 lead over the Tigers in the 2012 World Series Wednesday night thanks to a dominant pitching performance by Barry Zito and the bat of Pablo Sandoval.

The game ended 8-3, with the Tigers getting their last two runs all the way in the ninth after a Jhonny Peralta home run.  The Tigers never had a lead in this game, due to a very rare pitching performance by Justin Verlander.  He went just four innings giving up five runs.  Two of those runs came off of the bat of Sandoval, who homered to center and right in his first two at-bats.

This isn't the first time these two have matched up and Sandoval has come out on top.  The man they call "Kung-Fu Panda" was the one who cracked this year's All-Star Game open in Kansas City, legging out a triple to put the game's first runs on the board.  The National League's win gave the Giants home-field advantage in the Fall Classic, and if you've watched any of the NLCS or World Series games, that advantage is paying off.

Sandoval wasn't done after two home runs, however.  He crushed a third solo shot, his second to straightaway center, that traveled 422 feet.  His three home runs in the World Series was not only a personal accomplishment -- it was the first time he had ever hit three home runs in a game -- but it put him among a very select group of sluggers to do it before him.  Babe Ruth (twice), Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols are the only other three in MLB history to accomplish this.

Tonight's pitching match-up is still in favor of the Tigers, but the Giants put that to bed last night, so we're in for another great game.  Detroit will go with Doug Fister as the Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner.  Gametime is 8 p.m. ET.

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